Work is beginning on a new plan that will guide planning decisions and shape the look and feel of Jersey in future - and islanders are being asked to have their say.
The Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, wants the public to be involved in the drafting of the new Island Plan, which will cover 2021 to 2030, by giving their views on how to address issues like the demand for homes.
The current Island Plan was adopted by the States Assembly in 2011 and, yesterday, the Environment Minister announced the start of its review. It will consider how the policies for new development should be adapted in light of challenges for island, such as the need for homes; economic support; climate change; and the impact of an ageing population.
In the first stage of the Island Plan process, research will be undertaken - some of which is being commissioned from independent experts - to ensure that the policies are "robust and fit for purpose."
Pictured: The Island Plan provides the framework against which planning decisions are made.
But the Minister said that the involvement of islanders was "essential". “The Island Plan is at the heart of the planning system and is key to balancing the island’s future economic, environmental and social needs in a way that is best for Jersey. This is difficult and challenging work and it is critical that islanders have their say at each stage.
"Before we start work on the detail, we will be seeking views on the strategic options to the challenges we face. This will help us to make sure we are taking the new Island Plan in the right direction," he explained.
In a video released to mark the start of the review process, Deputy Young said the Island Plan "doesn't just govern where buildings can and can't be built." "It determines how we'll protect our natural environment, it shapes the island our children will grow up in, the places and communities in which we'll grow older and how we support the changing economy."
Video: Deputy John Young said the Island Plan "doesn't just govern where buildings can and can't be built."
A consultation will be launched in the coming weeks and islanders will have other opportunities over the course of the process to get involved. "This is a chance to influence the plan to protect and enhance the things that make Jersey such a unique and special place to live," Deputy Young said.
He described the Island Plan as a "balancing act between different pressures" - environment, economy and community - and urged islanders to get involved as soon as possible.
The Minister said he expected a mixture of "high level policies" and "point of details," some of which were already brought up in what was the first of a series of briefing with States Members.
The Environment Minister said he wanted fellow politicians to be involved earlier in the process and hopes that they will be able to have "in committee" meetings about the Island Plan ahead of the States debate in early 2021.
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