Trust reaches ‘milestone’ in the bid to buy Plémont

CAMPAIGNERS leading the fight to save Plémont from development have achieved their £2 million target that could enable them to buy the land.

National Trust for Jersey president Celia Jeune: ‘I am confident our vision of securing this area for the Island may well become a reality’
National Trust for Jersey president Celia Jeune: ‘I am confident our vision of securing this area for the Island may well become a reality’

CAMPAIGNERS leading the fight to save Plémont from development have achieved their £2 million target that could enable them to buy the land.

The National Trust for Jersey, which launched a fresh bid to save the site in October, has been gathering pledges from the public in order to return the area to nature.

Last week the group had collected promises worth £1.84 million for the project and now the organisation has announced it has reached its initial £2 million target – a figure the campaign leaders call ‘a milestone’.

If Chief Minister Ian Gorst’s proposal to buy the land – if necessary by a compulsory purchase order – and sell it on to the National Trust for Jersey goes ahead, the group will still need another £1 million to remove the former Pontin’s Holiday Camp and return the grounds to their natural state.

Meanwhile Environment Minister Rob Duhamel today received the planning inspector’s report about the Plémont development and is due to reveal his final decision on the plans on Wednesday 14 November.

Full report in Wednesday's JEP

Comments for: "Trust reaches ‘milestone’ in the bid to buy Plémont"

St Ouen

How many more milestones are there?

Booger

Great job NT, now raise the rest! As far as I can tell no one in Jersey wants thier hard earned tax money spent on this scheme dreamt up by the bored upper class with nothing better to do. The NT cannot maintain what it has at the moment!!!

Real Truthseeker

Whoooah everyone, calm down. Let's look at the facts.

1. A Compulsory Purchase Order, if challenged by the owner, it then becomes the States responsibility to prove that it is for the improvement of society in terms of infrastructure. If the owner challenged it, there is UK precedent, that would mean a CPO would fail.

2. If the report concludes that the proposal is acceptable according to the Island Plan, then it must be approved. There is no point having either an Island Plan nor having this report produced if the Minister decides to do his own thing anyhow.

3. The figure of £2million is a figure that National Trust came up with on the basis of the States acquiring it for $8m with a net cost of £6m. However the owner will not sell for this, so if the States have decided they will wear a loss of £6m, then the National Trust needs a figure more like £4-5million.

Making up numbers which have no relaiton to reality is really quite silly.

Realist

Real truthseeker: What has UK law to do with Jersey? We are not in the UK so they are irrelevant. It's about time we had total independance from that country that will sell us down the river when it suits them.

I Pasdenom

Realist,

"...We are not in the UK so they are irrelevant..."

The relevance is in the precedent; while not as significant as any precedent from previous cases within this jurisdiction, where there is none the Court could easily use UK (or elsewhere) similar cases as precedent (and vice versa).

Realist

I Pasdenom: I appreciate what you are saying but, why should UK precedent be any more relevant to Jersey than, for example, French precedent?

I Pasdenom

Realist,

"...why should UK precedent be any more relevant to Jersey than, for example, French precedent?"

It isn't.

My understanding is that a legal precedent could be taken from either UK or French Courts, or elsewhere, as I previously said; obviously the precedent would need to be shown to have relevance within our own legal framework.

Likewise should a precedent be set by our own Royal Court it could be used by Court anywhere in the world as an example.

Obviously it doesn’t really matter from a lawyers POV where the precedent comes from if it helps his case, but I would hope that between two similar precedents a UK example were used before a French, but only because I believe that the legal system should be accessible to all, and should one wish to research the basis of a judgement it would be easier to do in our own language; and despite it archaically still being used at times in our legal system French is not our language any more.

donald pond

This would be an administrative law matter and it is settled that UK authority, particularly the application of the Wednesbury principles, would be persuasive, but not binding.

As the matter arises from statute (the Compulsory Purchase legislation), French authorities will be irrelevant, as customary law has been replaced by legislation based upon the UK model.

mr d.

these are only promises so its not exactly cash in the bank so to speak.

small business

How can Ozouf say NO to this previously & now says yes we can afford it?

Do not want my taxes to subsidise this application could be put to much better use such as new hospital.

JerseyD

Has anyone said what will happen to this money if they fail and Plemont is given the go ahead to build the houses? Will 100% of this money go on or will a % of it be "spent"

I Pasdenom

These are just pledges, not real money as I understand it.

book balance

Crime falling, build a new police HQ. GST likely to increase, lets buy some land and sell it for a £6m loss. Lets build a new hospital, which is the most expensive per bed hospital in the UK and of course civil servants must be paid as much as private sector as we will never fill the jobs with 1000 people unemployed. Oh and lets make a mockery of our criminal and judicial system, buy spending £6m on an investigation. Is there enough evidence to prosecute, no, ok so lets reconsider it.....2015, we can confirm that there is insufficent evidence to convict anyone else that'll be £10m please, thanks...anything else we can do. What about that sale of Plemont, we can investigate that for only £2m and we'll throw in some pens.

James

While we're at it, let's keep paying a convicted magistrate.

the thin wallet

and find the rest of the cash yourselves .

hands off the public purse.

Andy

Well good for them ...now raise the extra millions needed as I ceratinly don't want my money raised by taxes paying for this!!Whats more important a new hospital or this!!

James

In celebrating this important milestone of £2 million pledged, I can't see equal prominence to the extremely relevant point that the NT's plan will involve a forced contribution of probably £6 million from taxpayers who clearly don't want to spend this money - if we did, the NT's massive publicity campaign would have raised all the money needed.

This has correctly been deemed a political issue - please can we have balance in reporting?

I Pasdenom

James,

"...the NT’s massive publicity campaign..."

Can't move in the country side for their bloody signs!

Real Truthseeker

Remember all - it will be considerably more the £6million!!! This is just their estimate, and I understand the owner has previously said that £8m he won't sell for. It is going to be more like a States contribution of £8-£10m I bet.

I Pasdenom

I believe the number the owner's mentioned was around £14m.

So even if the States and he agreed to meet in the middle we're talking about £11m +all the 'hidden' cost that are part of the NTfJ's proposal, like waiving the Planning charges, and the disposal of asbestos etc. Legal fees, use of Planning Officer's at the taxpayer's expense and so on.

Not to mention that if the independant planning decision matches that of the Planning Officer's approving the site for development, will the owner then pursue all the additional planning expenses he's been been paid by what has clearly been obstructive practices by Planning Minister's over the years?

Real Truthseeker

Agree.

pauper

Really, this hounding of the land owner should stop! If any one did the same to a private individual we would be locked up for harassment.

C Le Verdic

'Really, this hounding of the land owner should stop! If any one did the same to a private individual we would be locked up for harassment'

They didn't seem to worry too much about Mr Manning and his field 1007 or Terry MacDonald and his fireworks.

All depends on how your face fits in Jersey.

Daniel

Dear dear people are getting very het up.

The £14 million figure is what Hemming's accountant dreamed up. The States valuation, when we debated this in 2009 or 2010 was in the area of £3 million. This figure was (deliberately, I believe) withheld at the time, i.e. it was released on the day of the debate.

Why? Because at that time the powers-that-were did not want to do anything, and would rather the figure of £14 million could be used to scare people off the idea. It worked, a cmmenter here is still using that figure.

Of course the valuation was for land, not for development. But we do not have to bend over backwards and give multi-millionaire Hemmings what he wants. He does not even have to be granted planning permission for a totally inappropriate development.

It is always so easy to say - we need the money for a hospital. A society worth living in does not just need a hospital, and the other minimum of provision, like effective policing.

It also needs a sense that something else matters more than money, and that is the quality of life.

And that includes all kinds of things, including wild, beautiful open spaces.

I Pasdenom

Daniel,

"...The £14 million figure is what Hemming’s accountant dreamed up. The States valuation, when we debated this in 2009 or 2010 was in the area of £3 million..."

It could equally be said that the £3m figure was dreamt up; could it not?

"...But we do not have to bend over backwards and give multi-millionaire Hemmings..."

Or indeed, even a poor person; could it be Daniel that you're dwelling on the person involved and his wealth more than the issue??

In any case the developer is looking to develop his land, it will reduce the building footprint on the area and return a large portion of the land to public ownership.

The NTfJ (also with assets woth multi-millions it should be noted) want the property compulsory purchased by the public from an unwilling vendor, and then sold on to them at a loss to the public.

I think this is just wrong.

Daniel do you?

What if a property developer proposed a development that benefited the island, but did not own the land; if the owner was unwilling should compulsory purchase laws be used to purchase the land for him to purchase at a lesser cost?

"...He does not even have to be granted planning permission for a totally inappropriate development..."

And who decides what is and what isn't? Because the professional consensus seems to be that the proposal should be allowed.

Marc Jones

Daniel, the States valuation is irrelevant.

A compulsory Purchase Order will fail, so Hemming's office is the only real valuation.

This isn't about wildlife or money - it is about consistency, and using States money for this purpose.

I am all for it returning to nature, but I am not in favour of States money being used for this!

God only knows why Messers Bailhache and Gorst put this back on the agenda.

We have an Island Plan - that is the basis of the decisionb - not politics!

Sanity

Given that the National Trust now have £2 millions pounds to spend on the good of the Island perhaps we should start a list of the many other projects it can be more wisely spent.

There are lots of small pockets of land that need to be protected.