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Minister: Fort Regent pool to go in "12 to 18 months"

Minister: Fort Regent pool to go in

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Minister: Fort Regent pool to go in "12 to 18 months"

Wednesday 15 February 2017

St Helier’s famous sloping skyline could be set to dramatically change in a year’s time, with Fort Regent’s iconic pool structure likely to be demolished by next year.

Speaking at yesterday’s States Assembly, Minister for Infrastructure Deputy Eddie Noel commented that there was “no choice” but to demolish the now derelict swimming site in 12 to 18 months.

Responding to a question regarding the repurposing of States-owned properties, Deputy Eddie Noel acknowledged that government properties are given a second lease of life where possible, but that Fort Regent’s pool facility was now out of the question. 

Previous proposals for the site had included a hotel, improved access via a lift from Snow Hill to a 'Skyway' and viewing platform, an escalator from Pier Road and a new pool facility – coming at a cost between £7 million to £15 million.


Pictured: Earlier proposals to rejuvenate the Fort included a 'Skyway' and viewing platform (above).

Back in 2015, the Minister had said he was, “…very hopeful” that money could be secured to start a project with “meaningful impact” to rejuvenate the Fort, but revenue streams seemed likely to be swallowed by high capital projects including the new hospital, a replacement for Les Quennevais School and the new sewage works.

The pool structure has subsequently fallen into excessive disrepair – ravaged by graffiti artists and young people, who on more than one occasion have broken into the former swimming pool and cable car sites, and even managed to walk on the dome roof. 

Scaffolding has temporarily – albeit unsuccessfully – been erected around the swimming pool to, “…stop members of the public getting inside,” Deputy Noel said, but the States will now have to look at gaining planning permission to get rid of the building and getting, “…the budget to do so.”


Pictured: A teenager climbs on framework in Fort Regent's former cable car station - an area known to contain the hazardous substance, asbestos.

A significant hurdle, however, will be the removal of carcinogenic asbestos present in the buildings – something both costly and potentially harmful to public health. 

“That building has a substantial amount of asbestos in it and the only safe way to remove that asbestos is to effectively wrap the whole building before one starts demolishing it, Sir,” the Minister commented. 

According to Tammy Fage, the States’ Director of Health and Safety, “Asbestos is only a danger when fibres become airborne and are breathed in.”

“Whilst there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos fibre, it is impossible to determine exactly who will develop disease in the future," she told Express. 

"The level of risk is almost certainly based on a number of factors including the level of airborne fibres, the duration and frequency of exposure – with the greater the cumulative exposure to asbestos fibres the greater the increase in the risk of developing disease. It is also known that people who smoke and are exposed to asbestos fibres are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer than those who don’t smoke and are exposed.

“This is precisely why it is vitally important that steps are taken to prevent exposures to asbestos at work, particularly during refurbishment and demolition of buildings built or refurbished before 2000, where asbestos-containing materials may still be found.”

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Posted by Sam Masterman on
I must of been dosing when the speculative plans for the "Skywalk" came out but nonetheless, that looks awesome.

As part of a multistage rejuvenation of the fort, that looks like a great idea.
Posted by Denise Shrives on
Shame it couldn't become a sky slope ! Jersey could really do with a sky school.
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