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READER LETTER: Cows and potatoes or housing?

READER LETTER: Cows and potatoes or housing?

Thursday 25 June 2020

READER LETTER: Cows and potatoes or housing?


A reader is suggesting an increase in the maximum height of accommodation in built-up areas to help solve the housing crisis.

The suggestion comes from Edward Trevor, who chaired the Planning Committee and the Health and Housing Committee in the London Borough of Sutton, as well as leading the Conservative Group on the former Association of Metropolitan Authorities Housing Committee, before moving to Jersey in the early 2000s.

Frustrated by a lack of Ministerial response to his idea, Mr Trevor had this to say...

"I thought that with the development in the town area and the need to protect the green spaces for agriculture - mainly potatoes and cows - it would be appropriate to increase the height of buildings in some parts of the Island, particularly St. Helier and the town areas of St. Saviour and St. Clement to 12 storeys or even more.

potatoes_spuds_farm_farming_agriculture.jpg

Pictured: Mr Trevor thinks parts of the island should hold 12-storey buildings due to the need to protect green spaces.

With the Le Masurier development in Bath Street, an opportunity has been lost and there are other instances where action could have been taken. Now that Andium is proposing to develop a number of sites over the next three years or so, more could be done if at least some of these were high-rise.

With most people in Jersey wanting to retain the green areas, that is the only way to be able to house people decently. Whether private or social, the housing needs to be of good quality and to a proper size standard as all deserve to be able to live in decent conditions. 

Although most people seem to be against the increase in population, there has been an average increase of over 1,000 per annum over the last few years and all need to be housed. As it seems that the government is unable or unwilling to block immigration, action needs to be taken immediately.

populationeconomypeople.jpg

Pictured: The rising population must be met with more housing, according to Mr Trevor.

The suggestion of high-rise was put to the Minister, John Young, three times by email over the last 18 months, but there has been no reaction at all.   

Although the Island Plan is being updated, it is not an immovable feast and, with the approval of the States, surely amendments can be made where it is sensible and probably necessary to do so prior to a major review?

It is the duty of Ministers to reply to reasonable suggestions, and when chairman of a planning committee in London I always replied within three days to members and 10 working days to the public as laid down in Standing Orders.

Readers-Letters.jpg

Pictured: Mr Trevor says he has written to the Environment Minister several times.

This applied to virtually all letters received over almost 40 years as an elected member. Here, it seems that John Young ignores decent behaviour and doesn’t bother to reply. In my view, he is taking taxpayers' money under false pretences."

Edward Trevor, MBE  FRICS IRRV (Hons)
9 Cobblestones, La Retraite, St. Helier

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Posted by William Boyd on
High rise definition - filing cabinets for human beings. Don't get me wrong, they can be good for increasing housing stock on a small ground footprint. They are fine for those without children. They are not so good for the elderly - they can increase isolation - but I am sure some elderly couples would love to live in one. I wouldn't mind living in one with a lovely view, always provided they are properly, and I mean properly, soundproofed from those above, below and on either side of you. Neighbour noise is the bane of flat living. They would have to be of pleasing design from the outside. What we don't want is Kowloon or Monaco. Mr Trevor is right though. If we keep letting people in they have to be housed. No ifs or buts.
Posted by Joy Thomson on
Firstly, I have been in touch with Deputy Young about environmental matters and he replied within 24 hours
Secondly, high rise is all very well, particularly based on Mr Boyd’s comments above but expletive don’t just need houses they need many other kinds of services and infrastructure. Surely the States must grasp the nettle sometime and introduce a sensible immigration policy? I don’t understand why they seem so reluctant.
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