Westmount residents have been left “frustrated” by a lack of assurance over the impact of the proposed new £800m hospital development at Overdale on their homes.
The group, who are holding a meeting in the Town Hall with politicians tonight to air their concerns, say that they only found out that Overdale was the preferred site via the media in October.
Three homes in the Castle View and Hillcrest area are slated for destruction under the plans. Their owners were contacted in September, but the seven remaining properties in the close, whose owners are concerned about the impact of the construction on their wellbeing and the value of their homes, were not.
While the Jersey Bowling Club has been given assurances that a new home will be found for them, the neighbours say they have received few concrete details about how their needs will be looked after during the construction process; the safety impact of widening Westmount Road; and any potential compensation if their homes decrease in value as a result of the future hospital development.
A representative from Design and Delivery Partner ROC FCC wrote to them on 13 October to advise that any concerns could be sent their way.
Pictured: A letter sent to those in the area.
They also assured that “regular neighbourhood meetings on project progress and timelines, details about construction activity, defined hours of work, newsletters, hotline telephone numbers and contact details” will be provided - but only after the States Assembly officially make a final decision on the site.
However, when challenged, the representative was unable to respond to any of the group’s specific points, which they want to be addressed in advance of the States Assembly debate on 17 November.
Tamara Vanmeggelen, a homeowner from the Hillcrest and Castle View community, told Express: “The residents on the east side of Westmount Road are frustrated by the total lack of regard shown towards us up until this point. Three homes out of the 10 homes in our close are slated to be destroyed, with likely more to come along Westmount, as part of the new proposal to widen Westmount Road and the encroachment of the proposed hospital site to the east side on the cliff edge. If approved, all of this would occur at our doorsteps and yet, we have still not received any assurances that our interests and safety concerns will be addressed.
“As a £1bn project, we do not believe the States have been provided sufficient information to make an informed choice as much attention has been previously focused on what they didn’t want as opposed to full information on the proposal now before them. As a community, we have all worked hard contacting the States to secure this meeting tonight where we plan to put our concerns on the record.”
Pictured: Under the plans, Westmount Road will have to be widened to allow construction vehicles to access the site.
A meeting is being held at the Town Hall this evening at 17:30 to allow residents to share their views.
Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham, who is politically responsible for the Our Hospital project, and St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft will be in attendance.
In response to a recent written question from St. Helier Deputy Inna Gardiner on the impact on properties in the area, the Senator said that no assessment as to the potential development's impact on the value of the homes had been made yet.
He added: "Around 75 residences are in close proximity to the site but the impact of the construction is difficult to define until more details of the process are available. If the Overdale site gains approval of the States Assembly, the approach adopted will be based on minimising any potential disruption through proper planning, process, management and regular communication with residents."
Pictured: A meeting on the matter is being held at the Town Hall this evening.
He said other properties that would need to be acquired include:
a corporate office and service yard;
four fields in separate ownerships;
one residential development under construction;
and land in the ownership of the Parish of St Helier, including:
o The Jersey Bowling Club, Westmount Road o Verges on Westmount Road
o People’s Park Car Park
o Inn on the Park Car Park
o Two verges on St. John’s Road.
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