Plémont: The fight goes on

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to keep fighting to save Plémont even though developers have been given permission to build on the land.

National Trust for Jersey chief executive Charles Alluto on the cliffpath from Grosnez to Plémont where 28 houses are to be built
National Trust for Jersey chief executive Charles Alluto on the cliffpath from Grosnez to Plémont where 28 houses are to be built

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to keep fighting to save Plémont even though developers have been given permission to build on the land.

The National Trust for Jersey have said that they are now focussing on persuading Islanders to keep telling  States Members to use public money to buy the site.

Yesterday Environment Minister Rob Duhamel announced that he had given permission to Trevor Hemmings's plans to build 28 homes in the area while removing the former Pontin's Holiday Camp.

He made the decision following independent planning inspector Alan Langton's report, which recommended that the project be allowed to go ahead.

The move could affect how States Members view Chief Minister Ian Gorst's proposal to buy the plot, if necessary using a compulsory purchase order, with public money.

The Trust's chief executive Charles Alluto said: 'The news is very disappointing, but obviously with the proposition coming up on 4 December there's still the opportunity to safeguard Plémont and we're going to work hard to achieve that.'

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Comments for: "Plémont: The fight goes on"

Andy

Well I'm sorry for national trust but I won't be contacting my Deputy or Connetable to support public money being used to buy this land!!If they want it simply get the money off their members or do a collection in King Street one Saturday and see how much is raised!!

If the States follow Gorst to buy the land this just shows what a bunch of loons we have running this Island as there are far more important issues to deal with first and with now most of europe in recession ,possibly uk going back in recession...Jersey won't escape all this so tighten your belts polititians unless you know of a printing press for money!!

Real Truthseeker

I have just read through the Proposition, and if that passes, then it locks the States in for vast sums of money. The Law's aroudn a Compulsory Purchase Order relate to it being valued at independent market value. This is nowhere near £8m (or the £7.8m the report specifies).

It has been passed, the fight has been lost, good effort all round, now focus on something you can win.

The only right outcome is for these threats by the National Trust to cease.

coninSpector

Give up the fight and find a worthwhile cause to complain about. Islanders want investment in healthcare and the General Hospital is in need of an extension to accomodate mmore beds. The public do not want their hard earned cash spent on a dog walking area for the wealthy.

The Thinker

Well one thing is for certain - whatever the price of the land was before the decision, it is now considerably more. I cannot see how the States are in a position to debate the purchase (compulsory or otherwise) until an actual price has been set. It would be sheer folly to agreed to the purchase in principal and then discover that the price tag was astronomical but nevertheless still go ahead. The States should only have the debate with the facts known in advance, and those facts must include the actual asking price or valuation of the land.

Portlet

Wish they'd cared this much about me :(

Nick

You care so much but you cannot even spell it correctly

No Eye Dear

If the States and NT insist on using my money to purchase this land I will contact the Police to report the theft of my taxpayers money!

The NT need to open their eyes and see the deal that is on offer here (2/3rds returned to nature) at the moment it is a complete eyesore.

I have no problem with the NT purchasing this land if they raise the asking price amongst their members, 14million I believe.

So come on NT members put your money where your mouths are.

JAKE

Honestly can't believe this. Return it to nature, too many unsold houses already in Jersey!

SMALL BUSINESS

NO,NO,NO

Crystal

Bob Duhamel had no choice but to pass this as the Planning law does not allow him to do anything else but the public can still make their real feelings felt, one way or the other. If the penny pinchers really believe that giving £5,000,000 to the finance industry to help it do its marketing is a better use of public funds then fine. This is not an 'either or' choice here - the States have the money and if they had acted decisively many years ago to put right this dreadful insult to our beautiful Island then it would have been much much cheaper. But they didn't - they dithered and delayed as always and now doing the right thing has become expensive. This is not Plemont's fault. Gorst is finally showing some real leadership and I hope that we can begin to heal the many wounds left by appalling decisions in the 70s and 80s with Plemont. It would show many people who only care for money what money is really for.

I Pasdenom

Crystal,

"...the States have the money..."

No Crystal, the States have control of taxpayers' money. What they do have is a duty to use it responsibly, and pissing-away millions of pounds to buy a developer land, however nice their possible development, is not responsible IMHO.

Crystal

I Pasdenom - if the tax payers want to see Plemont restored to its natural state then the States of Jersey have an absolute duty to use tax payer's money to secure and restore the site. I for one want this to happen - we should, I agree, have acted much faster and if the States had really had their act together they would have made Pontins pay to clear the site and return it to Nature at the end of its economically active life, but they didn't. We have no choice now but to make a very wealthy man even wealthier one way or the other and, as a tax payer ,I would rather see fields and grass on that headland than millionaire's houses, IMHO.

I Pasdenom

Crystal,

"...if the tax payers want to see Plemont restored to its natural state then the States of Jersey have an absolute duty to use tax payer’s money to secure and restore the site..."

You should qualify that 'if'; it's not just a question of what we want, but how much we're willing to pay for it.

Yes green fields might be better here than buildings... but the same is true of all developed areas; where do you draw the line Crystal?

The seawalls along St Ouen's bay.

The pool on the beach at West Park.

The building on the headland at Plemont.

The chapel on Hougue Bie.

Of these 4 Crystal which would you return to nature?

Warren J

Where in law is there the power to force someone to demolish a building that is no longer commercially viable ?

What is to stop me moving out of my house and boarding it up if I no longer wish to live in it ?

Look at areas in the UK which are no longer commercially viable - Almost whole towns abandoned !

I certainly dont wish my hard earned taxes to be used to buy such a remote area of land.

The States have at the end of teh day only approved the area for housing - In todays climate, it could be another decade before anything happens anyway.

BeanThereDoneThat

Great so now we will have circa 52 people all on something bordering £45k per annum debating to buy a piece of land. They have no idea at what price, they have no money, they have no idea of the costs to clear the site.

The sooner this lot get voted out the better, The Muppets could do a better job and cost a lot less to employ.

Pah

It would have been a very expensive dog toilet.

The inconsiderate dog owners will have to be content with leaving their dogs' poo all over the green areas they abuse now.

James

Despite the headlines, there will be thousands and thousands of taxpayers raising a glass to the Planning Minister, who sensibly rubber stamped recommendations made following a public enquiry and independent review.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoy Jersey's coastlines and the cliff paths that make their merry way, up and down. The National Trust folk care passionately about them, and if they are able to raise all the money needed I will join in the applause. I will make my second ever trip up there (in 16 years) and hold hands, draw lines in the sand and smile for the convenient JEP photographer. Heavens, if it just cost £10,000 of taxpayers' money, I still wouldn't mind - that is no more than one month's salary for a jailed magistrate.

Conversely, and for the sake of argument, I would hope that if the public cost was £100 million, that even Sir Philip would agree that that is simply beyond our means.

So, it is all about the price. Let's say just £6 million (it might be more) - is that a lot of money? The National Trust dismisses this as a fraction of one per cent of our annual public spending. Nice sound bite. But two can play at that game. In Income Tax terms, that requires £30 million of our hard earned salaries. In GST terms, it is £120 million of consumer spending. That's a hell of a lot of walking boots.

The vote in December will tell us how much States Members "love Plemont". It will also tell us how our elected representatives really view our financial situation, and how seriously they take their responsibilities as custodians of our money.

Propaganda

Very well said James.

The states are currently struggling to make the £65 million savings they promised us all. How they can even consider this proposition in the current financial climate is beyond belief.

Crystal

they are also custodians of our heritage and our natural environment, as well as representatives of those of us that believe that using tax payer's money to repair this dreadful mess and put right this mistake is exactly the right thing to do. I for one do not want to see tax payer's money in the sum of £5m given to the finance industry to help the poor struggling lovies sell their dubious services to yet more countries - that is an obscene waste in my opinion. There is more at stake than just money here, we are talking about how the States and the people of Jersey view this Island - as a thing to exploit and despoil for profit or as a home to pass on to future generations in as good a condition as we found it, or hopefully better as I think that we inherited some dreadful mistakes (Portelet and Plemot holiday camps for instance). The only thing that people seem concerned about is money - time some people dragged their noses out the trough and took a look around at what's happening in the wider world.

Propaganda

You're right Crystal, why spend £5 million supporting the finance industry when old age pensioners have to pay for bandages for their leg ulcers, with GST on top.

Which neatly brings me on to, why spend upwards of £6 million on 1/3rd of the plemont site when oaps have to pay for bandages.

It's not all about money, its about spending on the things that matter most. We cannot afford milk for our school children anymore, we're relying on the summer lottery to fund Jersey Heritage for the next three years yet Gorst think buying 1/3rd of this is a higher priority!!

In the days of plenty it's a worthwhile cause maybe, but in these days of austerity, job losses, falling house prices and high unemployment we need this cash for more worthy causes.

James

Without the Finance Industry, we wouldn't have six million quid to spare. And I don't want to leave future generations in a financial mess because a minority want to hold on to every piece of spare land than they can.

This has to be a democratic decision. We know exactly how much the free people of Jersey value Plemont - it's £2 million. That's how much willing supporters are prepared to pay, and given the names of some of the senior supporters, don't tell me that they couldn't raise the full whack if they really care so much about it. But they won't cough up for what they want - they will insist that other taxpayers who have freely chosen not to pledge to the NT have to give their hard earned up anyway. This isn't just about our heritage, it isn't just about a few people wanting to spend Other People's Money, it is also about democracy and principle.

pauper

I certainly do not agree on public money being spent on this site! period

s b

There seem to be a lot of people (or the same person ?) very concerned about the use of states money here. Well fear not. We have literally hundreds of millions sitting in the bank which aren't going to be used in a hurry. I consider it a very prudent investment to replace a tiny proportion of that with some prize real estate. Save your irrational anger over wasted taxpayers money which can never be recovered such as incinerator purchase , hdg enquiry etc etc etc

C Le Verdic

With friends like all the tightwad 'taxpayers' on here, does Plémont need enemies like Mr Hemmings?

carts

The planning outcome was a certainty, the way the States will now react is not. According to the assistant chief minister the "majority" want Plemont to be purchased by the States and gifted to the NT...really, can we see the polls and analyse this data please? I ask this because with the people I’ve spoken to it is at best an even split, ideologically. Then you mention how it will be funded by tax payers and gifted to a private land owner and it quickly ends up with just a vocal minority bullying their opinion forward through the media whilst the real majority (tax payers, voters etc) seem happy to accept the 2/3rds free gift option. This isn’t just about money, it’s also about priorities and, with everything that is going on right now in the island, even contemplating a multimillion pound tax payer gift to the NT for the sake of a third of this site is elitist, detached and a dangerous precedent to set. And don’t be fooled by the land swap deal…it’s still our (tax payer) land that will be given away to fund this sideshow distraction.

Crystal

the 2/3rds gift is a myth - only about 20% or so of the site will become useful habitat, the rest is effectively a 'village green' for the new housing and will almost certainly become exactly that over time, it is useless as habitat or 'wild' landscape.

BDK Architects

Crystal, Please check the facts. The 2/3rds of the site for free is a fact, supported by the Inspectors objective analysis. If you read his report you will also realise the house residents will be prevented from using this new open landscape as their 'village green', in fact most of this new public land across northern half of the site will be outside the three clusters.

Bereal

Whatever Senator Bailhache wants he will get. The constables will obey and vote as instructed!

S G

I agree and I also think that he is running the government, not Gorst

Real Truthseeker

Get rationa BEREAL - He missed out on the Chief Minister role, so you already are wrong.

Judge Jeffries

Should the Constable of St Martin vote in favour of compulsory purchase I will seek his resignation at the next Parish assembly. That goes for the Deputy as well.

HOWLER

So if the developer is gifting two thirds back it just makes it ridiculous that all this debate and and tax payers money is for the final third please it may not be the outcome that everyone wants but let common sense prevail,,,,,,,

Nick

The National Trust in Jersey have some members who are staggeringly wealthy. Let them put their money where their mouths are.

D De Jersey

Two thirds of the site returned to nature, construction jobs secured (albeit for a short time) generating economic activity and the final end to a saga that kept a scruffy eyesore on our North coast for too long.

It's a win win situation, unless you have an empire to build with other peoples money.

I shall be writing to my deputy to keep the money coming into the treasury, not squandered on the alternative, a vanity project that yields little for a significantly increased cost.

P Le Mont

Win win situation? what about the losers, Plémont and those who would like to see the entire site restored to nature?

I Pasdenom

P Le Mont,

"... those who would like to see the entire site restored to nature?"

If any are landowners I trust they're gifting their own land to the public to be developed back to nature; if not why not?

D De Jersey

Sorry.. Losers = People with an empire to build with other peoples money.

Boo

States = Fascist government that only care about money and not the enviroment. Money the root of all evil.

mallouin

You clearly have no concept of 'facism'.

coninSpector

Bereal

I do not recall Senator Bailhache swaying the vote upon the placment of a monstrous incinerator on the coastline. If he did sway the vote by agreeing to it at the time, then the respect I once had for him has gone.

Sanity

I am horrified by the suggestion that the States should be asked to place an artificially low value on this land prior to any compulsory purchase. This is corruption however well meaning the cause and that such calls are being made by those in positions of otherwise respectability and trust is appalling.

What should concern people that if we encourage our States members to set this precedent where will this take us? There are lot more houses along our coast and indeed there are others at Plemont which once the distraction of the former holiday camp is removed will become rather more prominent. Should we use compulsory purchase to obtain these at a nominal sum as well? What about road improvements, bus stops and other infrastructure improvements outside OUR properties, OUR land being simply taken under such powers. I am sure that most of us would be unable to raise the monies required for legal representation?

I would love to see Plemont restored to nature but many years ago permission was given to build on the land and the value set accordingly. If we want the land then we have to make a proper offer but I have to confess that after the shabby treatment Mr Hemming has received I would not blame him for his answer.

We have already done very well out of the deal in getting two thirds of the site cleared and restored to nature including the most valuable and environmentally important cliff edge. It is a crime that the National Trust did not allow this to be done BEFORE the puffins and other wildlife were decimated by the rotting camp and associated rats. It is the National Trust that has allowed the destruction of Plemont.

coninSpector

Sanity

I totally agree with you, for many years no one showed concern for Plemont. How many of the National Trust campaigners actually went up there with bin bags to tidy up or to photograph the wild life and protect it. They should be happy that 75% of the land is being returned to nature and at no cost to the tax payers.

cancer

For those vociferous campaigners for returning the whole headland to nature, I would just ask that they are electrically tagged for 12 months to see if they ever actually go there.

I'm extremely tired of noisy minority groups who claim the "moral high ground" and stuff their views down everyone else's throats. I could guess that 90%+ of the population don't care one way or the other, and a further 5% can't either spell or pronounce Plémont. Some people need to understand what being a minority really means.

P Le Mont

What has going there got to do with it? Plenty of people want to save whales without feeling the urge to go anywhere near them.

Many who despair at the despoilation of island scenery do so on behalf of others including the yet unborn. They can do this from anywhere without having to prove it by going to the location concerned X number of times. A lot of Jerseymen abroad are dismayed at the way the incumbents are letting the island go.

I don't imagine many are hoping that the holiday camp will be preserved in perpetuity.

coninSpector

P Le Mont

If, as you say, 'the Jerseymen abroad are dismayed ..' what is stopping them from returning to Jersey and joining the NT and Jersey heritage. If they were so fond of Jersey, they should have stayed.

P Le Mont

What's stopping them?

The fact that their island has been ruined and sold down the drain, for starters.

In any case, I've already made the perfectly adequate point that you don't neccesarily have to be, or go to, somewhere to care passionately about it.

coninSpector

P Le Mont

There are many armchair supporters but unless you've been there you will never really know.

egalitarian

Even if you only go once a year, it is uplifting to see natural beauty and despairing to see unnecessary development. I would ask, do you regularly go down to the waterfront to admire the Radisson hotel or do you avoid the area?

coninSpector

egliatarian

I enjoy walking along the waterfront, it is very pleasant and well laid out and when Plemont is developed, I look forward to walking along the two thirds to be returned to nature whilst admiring beautiful houses belonging to rich folk. Jersey has something for everyone.

P Le Mont

Yes, coninSpector, we can look forward to going there and feeling proud of the selfless sacrifices we have had to make so that our richers and betters can have beatiful houses in a beauty spot.

The better brought up amongst us will no doubt remember to raise our baseball caps in respect to any of the rich folk whose hamlet we are fortunate enough to be allowed to walk past but probably not through.

As I don't wear caps, I may have to settle for raised fingers instead.

coninSpector

P Le Mont

I dare say the rich amongst us worked hard for their riches, paid their taxes and deserve a seaview.

P Le Mont

Were the acquisition of wealth always that simple, coninSpector. In practice it can be more akin to the acquisition of land!

Hard work and paying taxes don't always come into it. Just look at who gets away with not paying taxes in the news at the moment. Do you really want me to believe that they all work hard as well?

Carl

Dear states member.... As a tax payer I can not support 8million being used to buy the headland and then national trust buying it for 2million. A gift to the national trust of 6 million!!! If this happens my support to the national trust will stop and those that vote in the states chamber in favour on this won't be getting a vote again!!

8 million !!!! We have more prioritise in jersey that this money could be invested in such as work with young people, youth clubs, sports, work with the in need in jersey etc

Sanity

Whatever the cost you can double this for the legal fees. The only people who will gain from any compulsory purchase are the National Trust and the Lawyers. Sadly now I realise I am starting to sound like a member of the conspiracy theorists brigade.

Steven

I cannot quite believe all of the hate, anger and mis-interpreted information from most people on here.

Alot of views on this so called message board do not even take account for the actual facts and it makes me quite sad.

I for one do support the acquisition as it is a one off payment that will last forever for the benefit of the island. The National Trust receive no financial support from the States where as Jersey Heritage receives around £2.6 million every year. This payment will then only equate to around 4 years of support for Jersey Heritage.

When you are outside going for a walk or enjoying our countryside it is most likely that you are on Trust land. They do an excellent job of looking after our countryside for the benefit of islanders.

I do just do not understand all of this ill feeling towards an organisation that is very mis-understood.

Propaganda

I have no ill feeling towards the National Trust and personally I think I understand what they do quite well.

Simple fact is, I don't enjoy walking in the countryside, some people do, but I am not one of them. If they were willing and able to buy the land without government subsidy I'd fully support it but Steve please ask yourself......

Is buying a pice of plemont land more important right now than elderly people with various illnesses struggling to meet their daily costs?

If and when this goverment is able to afford and ensure the most needy are well looked after then we can spalsh the cash on grandiose schemes like this.

James

I really enjoy a round of golf. Not very good at it I must admit and I don't play very often. I can afford the green fees and I think they are worth it. I don't ask you to pay for my pleasure just because its something I value, golf brings pleasure to not just me but so many islanders, and it is good for our health. You may prefer walking around Plemont.

I too admire the NT for many reasons. But if they care about this as much as they say, why don't they make some personal sacrifice rather than demanding that I do?

Propaganda

Brilliant analogy james

coninSpector

Steven

There is no ill feeling towards NT or Jersey Heritage. Indeed they are commendable for trying to restore the coastline and countryside. However, Plemont is not a good cause to fight anymore. Two thirds of the land is being returned to nature free of charge.

Real Truthseeker

Everyone would be happy for it to be returned to nature, but no at the taxpayers expense. James makes a great point - we are not talkign about the necessities in life such as educaiton and healthcare, this is for dogwalkers.

Personally I would rather it turned into a race-track for me to have fun on, but I don't expect taxpayers to fund it either - so why should I pay for your preference.