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Breathing Space

This month the States Assembly will debate my proposition that the planning application for the redevelopment of St Helier Waterfront, including the decision to build nearly 1000 homes there, should be delayed until we have a St Helier Masterplan in place to inform our decision-making.

One only has to walk around the northeastern part of town to appreciate how badly we have been let down by there being no overall plan for our Parish – wall-to-wall apartment blocks with inadequate open space provision and very little parking. To add insult to injury, the Government has decided to build a large traffic-generating new school on the Jersey Gas site, the only area for a potential expansion of the Millennium Town Park. Are we to allow the same mistakes to be made on the Waterfront?

While I have always supported the development of the Esplanade Quarter into an International Finance Centre, and admire both the design of the new office buildings as well as the creation of Trenton Square,  I am concerned that the new proposals will lead to the same town cramming on the south of town as we are seeing in the north, and the future development of St Helier is just too important to be left in the hands of a single Government Minister acting on the advice of a UK planning inspector.

St Helier is already providing more than 1000 units of housing and I am asking, therefore, that we have some breathing space to consider what is best for the future development of the Waterfront.