£1.4m proposals to connect Liberation Square and the Weighbridge have been unveiled, with plans to complete the revamp in time for the island’s Liberation 75 celebrations next year.
The proposals have now been released for public consultation before the Infrastructure Department submits their bid for planning permission.
The Liberation 75 revamp plans including a pétanque court, an events plaza and a serpentine.
£1.4million has already been set aside in the 2019 Budget to enhance the area ahead of the big day on 9 May.
Pictured: The public realm improvements are due to be completed in time for 2020's Liberation 75.
Preparations for the commemoration of three-quarters of a century since the end of Nazi Occupation in Jersey are already underway – including rumours of high-profile Royal guests as well as these public realm improvements.
The plans, announced by the Minister for Infrastructure Deputy Kevin Lewis in December of last year, involve getting rid of the road between the two squares, creating “one large, improved public amenity space".
Deputy Lewis has previously told the States Assembly that the new space will be “completed and opened on 9 May 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the island. Thereafter the new, combined amenity space will be available for the continuation and enhancement of the numerous community activities that the squares currently host.”
Pictured: An overview of the proposed revamp of the combined public space in the heart of St. Helier (Department of Infrastructure).
In addition to the public realm revamp, a Liberation 75 working group, chaired by Deputy Kevin Pamplin, are in charge of co-ordinating different aspects of the event. The other politicians on this panel are:
Commenting on the unveiling of the plans for public consultation, the Infrastructure Minister said: “We are working to a tight deadline in order to have the new space completed for 9 May 2020, and shortly we will be seeking the planning permission we need. Before then, however, we want the public to see the plans and to give their views.
Pictured: The island will celebrate three-quarters of a century since the end of Nazi Occupation in the island in 2020.
“This is not a discussion about the events, art installations and other uses for the area, both in 2020 and in the years that follow; this is solely about creating a high-quality public space which will, I’m sure, become an important and central part of island life.”
The news comes after questions were raised about how the Liberation Square would be funded and its overall cost.
In response to questioning in a previous States Assembly meeting by Deputy Kirsten Morel, the Treasury Minister replied: "...No decision has been made as to the best funding method for the Liberation 75 scheme as yet and therefore no decisions have been made about how best to use the one-off budget this alternative funding route would release. I understand from the Growth, Housing and Environment Department that the scheme is now likely to cost £3 million, not £2 million, and I await an explanation of the variations when I consider the recommendation of officers."
The plans will be on show in the Ouless Room at Jersey Museum on Tuesday 19 March from 12:00 – 14:00 and then 16:00 – 18:00. There will be a separate event for businesses to be consulted on the new plans.
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