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Grève de Lecq super-home and café approved

Grève de Lecq super-home and café approved

Friday 14 January 2022

Grève de Lecq super-home and café approved

Friday 14 January 2022

A contentious plan to knock down the Seaside Café at Grève de Lecq and replace it with a four-bedroom home and 100-cover café has been approved in a majority vote by the Planning Committee.

Yesterday's approval came despite numerous complaints about the application, including “40 letters of objection” deeming a potential reduction of parking spaces “unacceptable”, the committee voted in favour of moving forward with the development.

Five out of six Planning Committee members were in favour, citing the benefit of environmental and historical enhancements that they felt should offset potential concerns.

The Seaside Café, which ceased operations last year, sits within the Coastal National Park and contains a listed German bunker as part of its surrounding site.

There is currently a large car park adjacent to the main building, which the plan proposes to reduce to a smaller, sixteen space area.

Greve de Lecq Seaside Cafe.jpg

Pictured: An artist's impression of the development from the beach. (MS Planning)

A smaller, 100-cover café will take the place of the current establishment, and a “recessed, four-bedroom house” will sit between it and the beach-facing bunker. Nude Food, who run similar operations in Jersey along coastal areas, were suggested as being interested in taking over the new café.  

As part of the plans, a significant overhaul of the surrounding area was promised, which included the “removal of tarmac and restoration of the surrounding dunes”, the “restoration of the historic listed building” and other improvements such as a coast-to-coast “green bridge” which would allow currently segregated wildlife to safely cross from one side to the other.

It was argued by the applicant, De Montford Developments Ltd, that the plans showed a “generous and substantial contribution” to the “aesthetic, historic and ecological value” of both the site and the surrounding area. Additions to public transport infrastructure, including a designated bus-turning point, were also touted as benefits to ease-of-access and environmental sustainability.  

Numerous speakers came forward in person to present their case against the proposed plan in front of the Committee at yesterday's meeting at St. Paul's Centre.

Greve de Lecq Seaside Cafe.jpg

Pictured: An impression of the site from the main road. (MS Planning)

There were concerns raised that parking at Grève de Lecq was already difficult during peak times, and that further reductions to available spaces would serve to exacerbate the problem with “16 spaces not even enough to cater for the new café”.

The applicant, however, noted that the parking spaces had always been private property, and that in the past the public would use them despite “not necessarily giving custom their custom to the previous café”. With “160 public spaces” already available in nearby public car parks, it was argued that this should be sufficient to meet the demand of visitors to the area. 

In his response to the arguments, Planning Committee Chair, Constable Philip Le Sueur, stated that the “benefits of the plan usurped the negatives” and that the current site was “not an attractive advert” for the island.

Committee member Deputy Jeremy Maçon agreed, adding: “There are lots of benefits here, both historical and environmental.” 

“As it stands, it’s an eyesore,” said Deputy Lindsay Ash, “reminiscent of a bygone era, and similar to the boarded up coastal areas we see across England”. Despite submitting his approval of the plans, Deputy Ash praised the arguments of those seeking refusal of the development as some of the “most articulate and well presented” that he had heard throughout his tenure of sitting on the Planning Committee.

Greve de Lecq Seaside Cafe.jpg

Pictured: A sunset view from the east, showing the new dune landscaping and the car tunnel leading to the single property. (MS Planning)

Deputy Mary Le Hegarat agreed that the current structure was a “horrendous building”. It was noted that if parking in the area continued to be an issue in future, then that would be an issue to be discussed at a later date.  

A new proposition to ensure that the presence of a café would be maintained in future was brought forward by the applicant, to which the committee agreed the approval of the plan would be conditional.

Deputy Steve Luce tabled the only refusal to the proposed development, stating that he had “prepared a long speech” but ultimately “decided not to say it."

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Posted by Steven Simon on
Of course this was going to go ahead. Another luxury house is just what the islanders need!!!!
Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
Anyone who uses the beach in the Summer will know that the public car park is often full and if the 100 cover cafe has only 16 parking spaces it will be even more in demand. Looks like the Summer months down at Greve will be a traffic nightmare, but hey money always talks loudest unfortunately!
Posted by nigel pearce on
It is a pity that the new development will be spoiled by the retention of that ugly German bunker. La Greve de Lecq would be made much more beautiful by removing both the bunkers on the harbour.
Posted by Scott Mills on
lovely bit of business. 100 covers for 16 spaces. Who did this math Deputy Wickenden?
Posted by T Mark on
The last sentence is very odd. The one refusal “deciding to not say” his speech. What is the point being on the committee as could have been a good argument.
Posted by Robert Morton on
As a regular tourist to Jersey and not a resident, I appreciate that my comments may not have the weight of those of a resident. However, I do feel that they should be made from a visitor’s perspective.

As a family, we have always enjoyed visiting the Grève de Lecq area and have often made use of the Romany Restaurant’s (aka Seaside Café) large car park and would always buy something from the shop and/or the café for the privilege of parking there.

I disagree with Deputy Lindsay Ash’s statement that “As it stands, it’s an eyesore reminiscent of a bygone era, and similar to the boarded-up coastal areas we see across England”. The Seaside Café (and the Romany Restaurant before it) is what we have come to love and expect of Jersey. I have not visited the island since 2019 so if it is boarded-up then presumably it could be un-boarded. I’m sure even then, that it looks nothing like some of the seedier coastal areas that we unfortunately have in England.

Deputy Mary Le Hegarat said that the current structure was a “horrendous building”, well it may be quirky but it’s Jersey and it has a usefully sized car park. Also, surely if parking in the area continued to be an issue in future, then it would be too late to discuss the issue at a later date because where else could you fit extra parking in the Grève de Lecq area?

Is the Beach House Restaurant building (which was shut in 2014) still empty? If so, would that not make a better place for Nude Food to open, especially with the large Ouaisné car park near it?
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