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“Our Hospital project cannot continue to progress without compulsory purchase”

“Our Hospital project cannot continue to progress without compulsory purchase”

Wednesday 04 August 2021

“Our Hospital project cannot continue to progress without compulsory purchase”

Wednesday 04 August 2021

The plan to build an £800m new hospital at Overdale “cannot continue to progress” without some forced land sales, the Government has said in a new report.

If States Members agree, up to £36m could be spent using compulsory purchase powers.

While more than £12m has already been spent on purchasing over a dozen properties and sections of land in the Westmount area to facilitate the build, many crucial zones are still yet to be acquired.

Officially published yesterday, the Government’s full ‘Outline Business Case’ (OBC) report contains a map showing that there is still “no negotiated position” on Field 1550 – an area believed to be the site of a lost Megalithic monument, which has been earmarked for a mental health unit.


Pictured: As it stands, there is "no negotiated position" on Field 1550 and the Jersey Bowling Club - both crucial for the new hospital and its access route.

The plans also show that no agreement has been reached to purchase the Jersey Bowling Club, which is needed as part of plans to create what has been dubbed a ‘super-highway’ up to the new hospital. The road is due to be realigned to make it shallower, wider and straighter - this will take it through the 111-year-old club’s green and pavilion. 

The Government had previously said it would help find it a new home, with Warwick Farm identified as a replacement – but that plan fell through last month.

The OBC also notes that, as project plans have developed, it has become apparent that more land than initially anticipated will also have to be acquired, as well as rights of access through areas adjacent to the George V Cottage Homes and Clos des Monts through Westmount Gardens to enable “the connection of utilities.”


CLICK TO ENLARGE: The areas in red signify zones that are needed, but where a purchase has not been successfully negotiated; the areas in turquoise are rights of access that are needed; and the small areas in green are those that were not initially believed to be needed but now must be acquired.

The OBC says the project team has marked a “large area” for this “to enable a route to be chosen that makes allowance for existing trees and ecology to minimise impact and provide safe working spaces”, adding: “Surveys during the next stage of design will establish exactly where access will be required.”

With the hospital project working to a tight timeline – which will potentially see final planning approval controversially given during the elections period – the OBC is clear that “Our Hospital project cannot continue to progress without the use of Compulsory Purchase powers.”

States Members will therefore be asked on 5 October to give the green light to Ministers to use compulsory purchase in a vote.

Acquiring such properties, the Government says, is likely to cost £34.3m, but they are asking States Members to approve up to £36m to allow from “flexibility” if changes in valuations occur. 


CLICK TO ENLARGE: A plan showing the full hospital site area.

Their proposal describes compulsory purchase as a “last resort to acquire the land needed where commercial terms cannot be reached with landowners and also to resolve existing land covenants and title issues”, adding that allowing it to be used would “provide assurance that Our Hospital will have the best opportunity to meet the critical deadline of 2026 when the cost of maintaining the current hospital estate will escalate sharply.”

In addition to giving Ministers compulsory purchase powers, States Members will also be asked in October to give their formal approval to the Government's desired strategy for funding the new hospital.

As Express reported last month, the Government is hoping to finance it via two bonds of around £400m each – borrowing that will total £756m. 

“Building a new hospital requires the Island to make a significant investment and we are proposing an affordable solution to borrow at historically low fixed interest rates to fund Our Hospital and maintain our existing reserves. This will enable the States to generate more income from our reserves than interest would be payable on debt, without seeking additional taxes from islanders,” Treasury Minister Deputy Susie Pinel said.


Pictured: The Treasury Minister said the desired funding route would avoid taxes having to be raised.

Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham, who has political responsibility for the project added: “It is essential that we keep the project moving forward. Taking advantage of the current low interest rates will provide the most cost-effective means of funding the new hospital and avoid further unnecessary costs for the island.”

Scrutineers are continuing to gather views on the plans and are asking members of the public to share what they believe are the key issues States Members should consider when debating the funding proposal and what further information, if any, they need about the proposed project funding.

“The scale of the Our Hospital Project will have a lasting impact on Jersey’s healthcare and finances for generations to come. It is vital that individuals and organisations take the opportunity to share their views on how it should be funded and whether the budget committed is appropriate for the project and for Jersey,” Future Hospital Review Panel Chair, Senator Kristina Moore, said.

All members of the public (individuals or organisations) are encouraged to share their views by 31 August and can get involved by:

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Denise Shrives on
Stop this madness now - don't build at Overdale sit ! Come on Farnham admit you are wrong ! Hold a referendum and you would see exactly what the people of Jersey think.
Posted by Dawn Armstrong on
Well Mrs Pinel
You paint an invalid assumption:" This will enable the States to generate more income from our reserves than interest would be payable on debt, ".
If it's true then why not borrow for ALL expenditure, borrow the maximum lenders will agree to. We would be rolling in it.
But ask yourself why would any bank lend to us when they could invest where Jersey does and get more money back than lending to Jersey gives them?
Please don't involve yourself in money matters you clearly are out of your depth.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Like it or not ,it will end up at this site,totally wrong site as we know,throwing the island into debt for generations.This hospital will cost well over a billion,Farnham and Pinel ,two bookends.Has this hospital been costed out on a blank field,where no road widening needed,properties bought etc? I doubt it..roll on next years election,we throw these dismal politicians out!
Posted by Peter Richardson on
The most expensive hospital in the world per bed. No surprises there! Nelly the elephant comes to mind. Why build on a flat land like Warwick Farm when you can have extra expense demolishing buildings on a hill with poor access. At least when its finished, as no one cares about the cost in government, we can have an excellent view of it when arriving by sea and air. We can all contemplate the sheer madness of the thing.
Posted by on
This is absolute madness.

Taxpayers will be paying for this debacle for 2 generations to come.

This should never be allowed to go ahead.
Posted by anthony turmel on
some people on this " project " are making a shed load of money at our cost...a detailed account and costing of every penny spent so far and to who should be made public after all it is " our Hospital " and we will be paying for it through the nose for years to come........
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Dear Susie, Yes you are right Interest Rates are low and we earn more on our long term assets than the interest chargeable on these two loans ~ BUT what you seem to have forgotten is HOW are the loans going to be repaid ~ Seems like no one in Government has a clue.
Posted by Guy de Faye on
In addition to the "All in One" Hospital being a fundamentally flawed project requiring total reassessment, the compulsory purchase (CP) law is in desperate need of significant reform.

As was apparent during its application prior to the construction of the new school at Les Quennevais, the law cheats land owners of the correct value of their land and is, at best, immoral.

The CP law states that the purchase price will be based on the classification of the land at the time of the compulsory transaction. If the land is a farming field, the offer price will be based on the prevailing market price for agricultural property. This is despite the glaring fact that the field is being purchased for DEVELOPMENT.

A fair transaction would offer purchase values related to prime development land valuations, but a number of property owners up at Overdale will be faced with "legalised daylight robbery" orchestrated and enacted by Jersey's own government. There should be no CP until the law is reviewed and properly amended.
Posted by IanSmith97 on
Jon Jon, these politicians will NEVER be voted out, mark my words. Putting honorary politicians - sorry incompetent politicians on 50k per annum per head - in charge of an £800 million project was and is asking for trouble.
Posted by on
This is absolute madness.

Taxpayers will be paying for this debacle for 2 generations to come.

This should never be allowed to go ahead.
Posted by The old git Git on
If the land already aquired and the extra compulsory purchase of more land required is amazing at the size of the complex. Looking at the images and comparing "The Peoples" park suggestion as one of the sites for the hospital makes me wonder how they were going to fit the new hospital there.
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