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Warwick Farm earmarked to become St. Helier Country Park

Warwick Farm earmarked to become St. Helier Country Park

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Warwick Farm earmarked to become St. Helier Country Park

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Warwick Farm - once a possible site for the new hospital - has been earmarked to become a new country park.

The three-year Island Plan, which was released this week and will be followed by 12 weeks of public consultation, proposes that the publicly owned site on Grande Route de St. Jean becomes a recreational space to balance increased development in town.

It says: “To help provide a recreational amenity in the countryside, it is proposed that the use of public land at Warwick Farm is released for development as a country park for the benefit of town residents. 

“The site is located to the north of town and there is potential to create and enhance access to it through the green lane and public footpath network in Vallée des Vaux, and to explore linkages to Fern Valley and Bellozanne. 

“The site is currently leased, but upon cessation of the current use, it is proposed that the site is brought forward to be re-purposed as a St. Helier Country Park. Its development as a country park would need to be resourced through the Government Plan process and guided by supplementary planning guidance.”

Pictured: The Warwick Farm site on Grande Route de St. Jean.

The Jersey Bowls Club has already been linked to a move to Warwick Farm.

Its Westmount Road home, where the club has been based since 1910, lies in the path of a new access road which is due to be built for the new hospital at Overdale. 

The farm, which used to be the home of the States Central Nursery and has been previously sought after as a housing site by Andium, is currently home to Jersey Hemp, whose nine-year lease expires in 2027. 

Asked for his thoughts on the country park proposal, Jersey Hemp CEO David Ryan said: “All I will say is that various plans come and go but we are just trying to get on with our jobs and have received no official notifications on the subject.” 

Before the lease with Jersey Hemp was signed in 2018, St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft sought a six-month delay for a feasibility study into creating a St. Helier Country Park at Warwick Farm, a proposal he had unsuccessfully attempted to add to the last 2011 Island Plan.

The short-term Island Plan also proposes creating new public access around Grands Vaux reservoir. 

It says: “To promote access to the countryside for the benefit of town residents, it is proposed that, subject to the relocation of part of Jersey Water’s operations, new public access is provided to Grands Vaux Reservoir and valley.

The Minister for the Environment will work with Jersey Water to explore how this proposal might be realised over the plan period.”

Jersey Water’s Asset Manager Simon Bowden told Express that the company had been working with the Government on an access plan for Grands Vaux for some time.

Grands Vaux top gate.jpeg

Pictured: The upper section of Grands Vaux, alongside the top ‘silt pond’ would be opened up for public access. 

The first phase of the project, he said, would be to open up the northern section of the area, which included a track leading from the bottom of Mont de la Rosière to an open area, which currently served as a storage yard for a contractor. 

This would connect the area with existing paths running through the wooded valley to the north.

“This could be a multi-use path for cyclists, walkers and horses,” he said. 

Other phases would likely include creating a footpath around the eastern bank of the reservoir, which would safely link the Town-side of the area to the new northern path, and - in time - completing a circular path around the whole reservoir. 

Grands Vaux reservoir.jpeg

Pictured: Islanders could be allowed to walk around Grands Vaux reservoir in the future.

Mr Bowden said that there was currently a small path around the reservoir, but it was just used by anglers and would have to be significantly upgraded to make it safe for public use. 

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Posted by Martin on
I note the Jersey HEMP sign at the entrance to Warwick Farm - - & do wonder - when the Politicians visited to ponder the site for the proposed Hospital if they ingested a bit too much?

Maybe they did not visit & have no excuse?
Posted by David Moon on
Which is the greater priority, a new hospital or a country park? If the new hospital was built at Warwick Farm, Overdale could become a country park form St. Helier. This would avoid the disruption which is being caused by building the new hospital at Overdale and cost a lot less.
Posted by John Sheen on
How does putting the hospital at Warwick Farm avoid disruption? 800 cars a day need to get in and out of that building.
Posted by on
Constable Crowcroft has campaigned for green open spaces in town, whilst the planning minister is advocating extensive building in our green zones!

You could not make this up. Build in the green fields whilst a park is created on an already built site.

This government has lost the plot.
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