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FOCUS: Even old glasshouses shouldn't be homes

FOCUS: Even old glasshouses shouldn't be homes

Wednesday 18 December 2019

FOCUS: Even old glasshouses shouldn't be homes

Wednesday 18 December 2019

This week the results of a consultation on one of the most important documents to shape life in Jersey for the next decade have been published - the Island Plan 2021 to 2030 - and they show the strength of opposition to building in the countryside.

Yesterday, Express revealed that respondents would prefer to either build in town, with taller buildings if needed, and reclaim more land from the sea - rather than use green fields.

Today we focus on the responses for so called 'brown-field' sites, such as disused glasshouses.

It seems islanders would still rather this land too, be used for agriculture rather than for housing.

39% of respondents agreed that redundant and or derelict glasshouses should be removed, with the land being restored to open greenfield agricultural use.

Comments showed widespread support for prioritising agricultural land uses, with many participants voicing the importance of restoring the land to its former use. 

Others criticised owners of derelict glasshouses whom they accused of deliberately ‘holding out’ to get planning permission to redevelop the land, and benefit economically, leaving sites in poor condition in the meantime.

 Island Plan 2021 2030

Pictured: Islanders were asked to pick their favourite option in a list of five.

The findings come as the result of a three-month consultation on the Island Plan 2021-2030 which received 2,254 responses.

Among the 47 questions in the paper, islanders were asked to pick the statement they most agreed with regarding what to do with glasshouses when they are no longer needed or in poor condition.

Just 19% of people supported the idea of redeveloping them for something other than agriculture.

Redeveloping glasshouses for the provision of homes was the third most popular choice with 17%, while only 11% believed there should be a presumption in favour of using them for employment or commercial uses.

Those who support the option highlighted the need for affordable housing in Jersey, and the potential contribution disused land could make towards meeting demand.


Pictured: It seems islanders would still rather 'brown-field' sites, be used for agriculture rather than for housing

Nearly half of respondents (44%) considered that redevelopment of other agricultural buildings for other non-employment uses should not be allowed, compared with 28% who were in favour of redevelopment, potentially for housing.

The future of disused glasshouse sites, some of which have been left to decay into ‘blots’ on the rural landscape, has been under discussion since the decline of the indoor tomato and flower industries in the 1990s in face of European competition.

Attempts to redevelop glasshouses have previously been blocked by the Planning Department. This included plans to build 13 homes in Grantez as well as plans for a 27-unit luxury holiday village at Tamba Park.

Islanders’ feelings towards the redevelopment of glasshouses echo their opposition to further development in the countryside, where most derelict glasshouses are located


Pictured: Islanders believe concentrating development in St. Helier is the best 'spatial strategy' option out of six.

As part of the consultation, islanders were asked to pick between one of five 'spatial strategy' options. This included increasing density in town or in other built-up areas, expanding the town to the north, east and west or to the south, expanding other built-up areas, a new settlement and development in the countryside.

Respondents favoured the concentration of development in St. Helier (71%) with the second favourite option being the expansion of town to the south with 63%.

Countryside development received the least support with 78% of respondents considering it ‘not very acceptable’ or ‘not acceptable at all’.

However, respondents were largely in favour of diversifying the use of agricultural land, with many suggesting it could be shared with renewable energy sources such as solar panel or for ecological initiatives.

Nonetheless, some respondents felt that specific areas of land should be protected from development, considering it is vital to preserve agricultural land for local food production, as well as its cultural and aesthetic value to Jersey.


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Posted by William Boyd on
Here's a very hard question, I wonder where the 71% of those who responded "stick it all in St Helier" live? You can bet your last razoo they don't live in St Helier. No, they just don't want anybody actually having the temerity to build a new house near them - unless of course it is their sons or daughters. "Stick it all in St Helier" that just about sums it and them up. All the while they blithely drive into town, congesting and polluting the place with their cars, motorbikes, 4x4s etc. St Helier is just a place for them to work (not live, natch) and be a dormitory town for low paid folk to live/exist so as to provide them with their essential services, cleaners, nannies, plumbers, sparks etc. In case people haven't noticed, town is FULL. If town is full, which it is, then the Island is full. St Helier can't take any more and if the town can't and the chocolate-box-lid country parishes won't then the game is up. No more population increase. Then where are the elite going to obtain their cheap labour?
Posted by Jon Jon on
Reclaim land to the south of st helier is not the way forward,that effects tides and with sea levels rising a possibility of flooding.You can certainly see old redundant glasshouses left no doubt for the purpose of building plots,also the odd few small fields where a load of stone has been tipped ,allowing weeds and brambles to hide that fact.St Helier is already turning into a ghetto,apartments put up that you can't swing a cat in,not great for families,like it or not agricultural land will need to be built on but not in the rural parishes but around the outskirts of st Helier.
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