A senior transport expert has said that plans for managing traffic around a potential development of 47 homes at the site of the Westhill Hotel are "muddled" and more information is needed.
William Prendergast – Principal Transport Planner in the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment Department – was asked to assess the Travel Plan forming part of the planning application.
In a recently published consultation, he said that, for the time being, he cannot support the development until more detail is provided.
He writes: “While there are objectives, targets and measures included, overall a revised document that focuses purely on travel planning is required. This can be conditional with any permit, however.”
Making a recommendation, Mr Prendergast writes: “The proposal will represent a significant increase in car trips clashing with peak school morning congestion and commuter rat runs along West Hill.
“This needs to be properly assessed with a Transport Assessment.”
Pictured: The hotel will be demolished in favour of 47 dwellings, if plans are approved.
He adds: “To avoid the site becoming over reliant on car use, a quality Travel Plan will be required supported by financial incentives for occupiers including vouchers for two-years’ free car-club membership as well as a year’s bus travel.
“A southbound best shelter on West Hill is required and will need carriageway realignment over land under the Applicant’s control.”
The planner states that, were consent to be given for the conversion and alteration of the hotel and its staff accommodation, there could be no sub-letting of any car or cycle space to off-site occupiers, and no surface water could run from the site into the road.
In another official submission, the officer with responsibility for tourism regulation writes: “The department regrets the loss of registered tourist accommodation and has noted the application.”
One of two official public comments, from nearby resident Mike Tait, states: “Until I have had the opportunity to better understand [the traffic] issues, I would wish to register my deep concerns about the considerable impact of 47 permanently occupied residences will have on an already overburdened traffic system.”
The application, made earlier this month by Westhill Country Hotel Limited, is considered “major”.
In a statement accompanying the application, the company’s planning consultant writes: “The owners are finding the economic viability of the hotel to be increasingly difficult.
“The tourism industry of Jersey has declined since the advent of more affordable overseas holidays when compared with the cost of visiting and staying in Jersey, and with overseas holidays generally offering more reliable warmer weather.
“The hotel itself requires refurbishment and modernisation. The hotel is severely constrained as there are no lifts to the upper floors where most of the accommodation is located.”
Fresh plans to turn longstanding hotel into nearly 50 homes (2022)
Family plan hotel demolition amid tourism woes (2019)
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