The Government wants to build a large vehicle inspection centre on fields next to the Airport, paving the way for MOT-style testing in two years' time.
Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis has lodged an amendment to the Bridging Island Plan to rezone two green-zone fields to the south of the Airport, which are owned by Ports of Jersey, so his department is ready to carry out vehicle inspections from April 2024.
After Brexit, Jersey has signed up to an international convention which requires the island to carry out ‘periodic technical inspections’ of all vehicles in order for islanders to drive on the continent.
However, to comply, Jersey’s legislation had to incorporate the inspecting of all Jersey registered vehicles, regardless of whether they travelled internationally.
Last April 2021, Deputy Lewis agreed with the recommendation of his officers that a single, Government owned, inspection centre was the most effective approach.
Pictured: The plan has been put forward by Deputy Kevin Lewis, the Infrastructure Minister.
Infrastructure has reviewed various sites, including land at La Collette, Bellozanne Valley, the Harbour and Warwick Farm and has plumped for the St Brelade fields, ‘B26’ and ‘B27’.
Its requirements include a building which can accommodate 40,000 inspections a year, likely to be a 5,000-8,000 sqm area and a 2,000 sqm internal space.
The department says that fields B26 and B27 are the best fit, despite their proximity to the Airport Fuel Farm.
However, the Environment Minister is against the proposal, and independent inspectors reviewing the Bridging Island Plan, while accepting the land should be rezoned for ‘light industrial’ use, say it “might not be best used as a vehicle testing station” considering the island’s general shortage of “high quality light industrial or warehouse premises.”
Deputy John Young has rejected this rezoning recommendation of the inspectors.
In his post-examination report, he writes: “The Minister notes that the inspectors, in their recommendation, recognise that this site may not be best suited as a vehicle testing centre but that, given evidence of ongoing need for land for modern industrial/warehouse premises, the site should be allocated for industry and/or warehousing.
“The Minister accepts that this site may be suited for industrial uses in the future but cannot accept the recommendation to allow an unrestricted light-industrial use on the site - particularly where the landowner has not sought this designation – and where it would otherwise be deemed speculative.
“If not for a vehicle testing centre, then this site could play an important, employment-related role, which will support both the positive development of the Airport, and the wider area.
“This needs to be considered first before any unrestricted light industrial use is allocated on the site, which may not represent the best use of land relative to the wider area.
“The original proposal to designate this site to allow the development of a vehicle testing centre may represent the favoured option for the Minister for Infrastructure to secure such a facility in order to meet obligations under the Vienna Convention.
“The Minister for the Environment has, however, been unable to support this proposal due to insufficient evidence of alternatives being presented as part of the submission seeking designation. There is opportunity for the Minister for Infrastructure to provide this in an amendment, should he wish to pursue one.”
Deputy Lewis’s amendment – which he argues now includes that detail – is one of more than 10 that have been lodged following the inspectors’ report. Express will be covering those in further depth in the coming week.
Government reverses out of MOT centre construction
Government set to create centre for MOT-style checks
MOT-style tests hit year-long bump in the road
Express previously sat down with DVS Head Gordon Forrest to discuss the plans for driving MOTs into Jersey...
Subscribe to Bailiwick Podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer or Whooshkaa.
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.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
Do we want or need vehicle testing = NO!
JUST another money spinner for our incredulously inept Gov to subsidise their reckless spending of OUR money!
I sincerely hope Lewis is NOT re-elected!