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WATCH: Plan to plant 500 trees at Waterfront

WATCH: Plan to plant 500 trees at Waterfront

Tuesday 16 May 2023

WATCH: Plan to plant 500 trees at Waterfront

Tuesday 16 May 2023


Plans to plant 500 trees at the Waterfront, including in the middle of Route de la Libération, will significantly improve the area, a planning inquiry has heard.

This week, an independent inspector is assessing plans by Jersey Development Company to redevelop 30 acres of reclaimed land between the underpass and West Park, land currently occupied by Fitness First, Aquasplash, Cineworld, the large car parks straddling both sides of the six-lane road and Jardins de la Mer.

These outline plans – which set the maximum sizes of buildings without establishing the details – would, if approved, provide close to 1,000 homes, commercial and retail units and £150m-worth of ‘public realm’ including streets, an arthouse cinema, squares and gardens.

Today, the inquiry – which is being overseen by inspector Philip Staddon, heard that trees would be planted throughout the development, including trees near the shoreline which were able to withstand the prevailing westerly winds and salty air.

Jardins JDC 850x500.jpg

Pictured: JDC say that tree species planted on the Waterfront will be able to withstand the wind and sea salt of the prevailing westerlies (Credit: Gillespies)

Trees will also be planted in the centre of the six-lane Route de la Libération, along with some down the sides. 

However, the scheme does not propose more fundamental changes to the main highway. Instead, if approved, a new single crossing of the six lanes would be built.

Former Environment Minister John Young, who addressed the inquiry in a personal capacity, said that the current road “tore the heart out of St. Helier” and was a “motorway to nowhere in the middle of the town”.

On behalf of JDC, planning adviser John Nicholson admitted that the road “was a barrier” which was “harsh and not attractive” but the planting around it would help to improve the area.

However, JDC’s plans to not propose any major changes to the road, such as building a bridge over it or sinking it further.

The issue of transport and the future of the road will be discussed in more detail at the inquiry on Wednesday.

The 500 trees proposed in the area will be a mix of species both dug into the ground, in most areas down to 1.2m, and growing in planters.

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