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GALLERY: "Honoured" Trust shares options after £3.6m Grève de Lecq gift


Thursday 08 February 2024

GALLERY: "Honoured" Trust shares options after £3.6m Grève de Lecq gift

Thursday 08 February 2024

The States Assembly has agreed to purchase the seaside café site at Grève de Lecq for £3.6 million and gift it to the National Trust for development.

Members yesterday voted to approve all four parts of a proposition which would allow the States to acquire the much-loved coastal site.

An amendment also ensured that the land must be returned to the public if the National Trust for Jersey decided in future to divest itself of ownership.

Only two Members – Deputies Alex Curtis and Max Andrews – voted against the main strand of the proposition, which called for the Government to buy the land.

Members voted 35 to seven in favour of gifting it to the trust. Environment Minister Steve Luce abstained in both votes.

Deputy Lyndon Farnham, who lodged the proposition before his appointment as Chief Minister, previously spoke of the need to secure the "iconic and popular" bay for islanders.

He revealed that he had managed to negotiate the "significantly reduced price" of £3.6m for the undeveloped site, with a written confirmation from the agent that the owner was prepared to accept that offer.


Pictured: The site has been empty for several years.

Speaking during the debate, he said: "The National Trust are the most appropriate partner for the work that needs to be done.

"They will get the job done and give us a strategic asset which will benefit the local community and our visitor economy."

Deputy Farnham urged Members to consider it a "long-term investment in our coastline and our natural environment".

The amount needed to purchase the site constituted 0.3% of projected Government expenditure in 2024, he said, adding that he was hopeful that this amount could be found in underspends from 2023 capital projects.

He added: "That is a small price to pay to safeguard access to the site and avoid inappropriate privatisation".

Deputy Lucy Stephenson, who was calling for the land to remain in public ownership forever with her amendment, said: "There is an opportunity before us today which we cannot ignore."

She added that partnership with the Trust was "exciting" and would have a "positive impact for our community and for islanders".

Treasury Minister Elaine Millar said she had a "huge amount of discomfort in discussing a commercially sensitive matter" in public and said she found it "difficult" to conclude that the purchase was "value for money".

The future of the site, including its car park, became a point of discussion after it was sold in 2020 and later fenced off.

It then went on the market for £5m undeveloped, or £11m with a four-bedroom house and 100-seat café built on it – a project for which planning permission had previously been granted.

Reacting to the news on Thursday morning, National Trust CEO Charles Alluto said: We are very honoured to be gifted the site and it is our intention at the earliest opportunity to go out to public consultation regarding future uses for the site."


Pictured: The National Trust said it was "honoured to be gifted the site".

He continued: "Restoring public access to the beach and re-opening the car park will be an immediate priority and if feasible we would like to be able to achieve this before Easter.

"We are enormously grateful to have been given the opportunity to help regenerate this key coastal site for the benefit of our community."

The Trust also shared a number of images of development plans it had worked on with Socrates architects.


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