The Environment Minister has confirmed that there will be no public inquiry into the luxury home development planned for the former Water’s Edge Hotel at Bouley Bay.
It comes after the Royal Court ruled last month that Deputy Jonathan Renouf's predecessor, Deputy John Young, had acted unlawfully by launching an inquiry without adequate justification.
Plans to convert the Water's Edge into a home with guest accommodation, a pool, tennis courts and extensive landscaped gardens were first put forward in June last year, attracting nearly 200 public comments.
Challenging the proposed planning inquiry in a judicial review, applicants WE Jersey argued before the Royal Court that that a series of emails – including one where he describes his decision as “not negotiable” – were proof former Deputy John Young had shown bias against the Bouley Bay application.
Pictured: Former Environment Minister Deputy John Young.
They also argued that the reasons given by the Minister for launching into a planning inquiry – the island's housing needs and the Coastal National Park – were inadequate.
While Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith disagreed that there was "pre-determination" on the Minister's part, he agreed that his references to the Coastal National Park and the island's housing needs were not sufficient to justify a planning inquiry and subsequently ruled it "unlawful".
Pictured: New Environment Minister, Deputy Jonathan Renouf.
Whether or not to attempt to call another inquiry was then left in the hands of the new Minister.
However, today, Deputy Renouf has confirmed that he wishes for the Water's Edge application to be dealt with via the usual planning process - due to the number of comments on the application, this will be via the Planning Committee.
Trinity Constable Philip Le Sueur chairs the committee, which consists of: Deputies Steve Luce, Mary Le Hegarat, Andy Howell, Tom Coles and Alex Curtis, and Constables Kevin Lewis, Richard Honeycombe, Deidre Mezbourian and Marcus Troy.
"Following careful consideration of the Royal Court's decision, I have decided not to intervene in this planning application. In arriving at this decision, I am not expressing any view on the merits of the plans," Deputy Renouf said.
IN-DEPTH: Court rules Bouley Bay luxury home inquiry “unlawful”
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Water's Edge applicant wins first round in fight to stop planning inquiry
Legal fight to block inquiry into Bouley Bay luxury home plan
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Plans to convert former Bouley Bay hotel into single landscaped home
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Thank goodness they have been elected to power.
The island has some hope now.