States ‘should loan National Trust the money for Plémont’

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to restore Plémont to nature should use a loan from the States to purchase the site, according to Deputy Geoff Southern.

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CAMPAIGNERS fighting to restore Plémont to nature should use a loan from the States to purchase the site, according to Deputy Geoff Southern.

The long-serving politician has lodged an amendment to Chief Minister Ian Gorst’s proposal to buy the land before selling it on to the National Trust for Jersey for £2m.

Deputy Southern has said that Senator Gorst has not found the right balance between acquiring the land and the cost to the public purse.

He wants the States to agree to loan the trust enough money to buy the site with the trust paying back the money over ten years.

The amendment comes as Senator Gorst and Senator Sir Philip Bailhache prepare to convince their colleagues to vote in favour of spending public money on Plémont.

They have also organised a public meeting at the Town Hall on Wednesday 5 December at 7.30 pm to explain why they believe the purchase of Plémont and its restoration to nature are so important.

Meanwhile, the Jersey band Badlabecques's song in Jèrrias in support of the National Trust for Jersey's campaign is now available to purchase from iTunes. A video of the band performing the song can also be seen on YouTube:  Click here

Comments for: "States ‘should loan National Trust the money for Plémont’"

small business

NO,NO,NO

use the money to help unemployed,the rate kids are leaving the Island there will be none left to look at the "empty" fields

S2

Totally agree. Other headlands are available. This one isn't public at the moment so I can't see why the proposed and agreed plan doesn't make anything but perfect sense

Scrutineer

For once I agree with Geoff Southern; this is a pragmatic solution. Lend the NT the money. The NT make a lot of noise; let them devote their energy to fundraising from the people who have been signing their petitions. I am not one of these 'easy with the pen on petitions' people, but I like the beach at Plemont and I have to drive past the current eyesore, so I might even chip in a bit. However, I would expect those who have been making a lot of noise to chip in rather more.

Say NO to buying Plemont

The majority of Jersey does NOT want to buy this land and would instead rather see this money spent on projects to help give the children somethign to do or even just keeping tourist attractions open like Hammptone. PLEASE STOP trying to buy this land!

egalitarian

Don't just assume you are correct. The majority of people I know are for the purchase as we know the value of some things, not just the price.

Matt

COMPLETELY AGREE! Waste of money

the future

The money would make a lot more people happy if it was spent in St Helier.

s

how much was spent on the Millenium park?

The future

If we take the cost of a place and divide it by the number if people who use and apreciate it every day the Millenium park comes out as the best value place in Jersey.

I think we need a St Helier trust so we can buy up derelict sites and turn them into green public areas, at least lots of people would use them.

Mark G

Good idea but what happens if the NT default the loan? can you see the States taking the NT to court?

Loan sharks

The respondents here don't seem to understand what is being proposed. As I understand this article, the Senator is saying if the National Trust want to buy the land, they can jolly well pay for it. Oh. They don't have the money? OK. Let them take out a loan (just like your mortgage) and repay it over 10 years, with interest. The States can lend them the money (just like your bank). That way it doesn't cost the taxpayer anything.

The Enforcer

Afraid you don't understand. The States are NOT like a bank and will not be lending like a bank. Why:

NT only has £2 million of pleges (no cash in the bank yet so will be interested to see what happens when these pleges are called in);

How is the NT going to pay the loan back given that pleges seem to be the only way of raising income. This appears to have been overlooked?

Will the States take security for loan over other NT assets?

Will/could the States ever ask for the cash back if NT defaults or enforce its security?

Would a bank lend in this scenario? Clearly the answer is NO. This really is foolish.

The Plemont issue really needs to die and the land delevoped asap as there are unfortunatley more pressing issues than arguing over a plot of land which has already been developed and destroyed over 60 years ago and which is currently an ugly eyesore.

Chris

Geoff can you get me a States loan for ten million quid too? I'll pay it back, honest.

Anon

The owners have a perfectly acceptable solution. The states don,t have the money to loan.

James

OMG, Deputy Southern solves a problem! The key will be to ensure repayment, and hence security should be sought over all the NT's assets. Thus, if they default, the taxpayers can claim land up to the amount of the outstanding loan. Thus, this may eventually result in a land swap - but for land owned by the NT not us. Brilliant!

Of course, if the NT say that it is not worth their while and they do not want to face ten years of fund raising, then we'll know how much they really Love Plemont.

JerseyGirl

No.2

How do you know that the majority of people don't want to buy this land?

Say NO to buying Plemont

Hi jerseyGirl, just read the comments here and on other local news websites, overwhelmingly against buying it - anyone I speak to in the pub seems to think it's a bad idea also. Don't think I've even seen something which has split the island on opinion as much as this one to be honest. What annoys me is this money, should it not be used to buy the land, will not be spent on anything else - it'll simply vanish in the budget... I'd like to see Funland brought back or even build the fort back to somewhere for young teenagers to hang out, investing in our island's youth would get my vote every time. I've seen the model of what is proposed on Plemont and it's much better than what got built at wolves cave and no one said squat over that!

Where's the nearest pub to Plémont?

Everyone I listen to in the pub says that They would rather the States reduced duty on alcohol if there is any spare cash in the treasury.

egalitarian

Perhaps a separate survey of local, i.e. people who spent their childhood years here, and non-local, i.e. people with no real roots here, would be the answer.

I'm sure that the responses would be: 1/ for and 2/ against.

I Pasdenom

egalitarian,

Perhaps you should split the vote along economic divides too, and then further by race; you know, just to prove a point!

I don't doubt that the majority of your circle of friends want tax-payers to foot the bill for Plemont, but that by no means can be extrapolated out to the population(indigenous or otherwise)

Myself and the nearly all my friends to whom I've spoken with on this subject, should by your reckoning be FOR; but we're not, not one of us we're all AGAINST. And in addition all those friends that aren't from Jersey are also against.

So faced with facts such as this, how sure in your beliefs now??

Dave

A good suggestion. The NT need the money now, but they do not have the reserves. If they get the loan and can't repay it, then the land presumably will be sold to developers to get the money back.

It is up to the NT and the campaign's supporters to show how dedicated they are to the cause.

Blade

totally agree with Deputy Southern. Why should the taxpayer pay for a charity to buy this land?

if they want to buy i then let them pay for it not us. And for those of you writing on here that people who are against this don't know what we are talking about.... what about the campagn to stop sky scrapers on the waterfront... or the flooding of Queens valley.

Where was the national trust when all of that was going on??????????

Sensible

You will probably find the well to do didnt like to walk their dogs or take a stroll from their huge houses to the Waterfront, hence their complete lack of interest!

James Wiley

The National Trust unlike every other Jersey organisation is not funded from the government.

Jersey Heritage waste money hand over fist and are constantly getting bailed out, banks make huge gambles which fail and are then bailed out.

It would be nice to see some money go to an organisation which is well run, within its budget and has proven it can make the most of limited resources, for a change.

Ted

My vote is to build radisson no 2. It would be a winner if the rooms had views over the north coast and guests could see puffins nesting and the greve de Lecq fisherman pulling in their monster bass.

Blade

James you are confused with a well run private company who requires no public funds compared to most charities including the national trust who are massively subsidised by the hard working taxpayer.

If these charities cannot afford to run and buy these propperties they should cease trading forthwith.

It is NOT and I repeat NOT the resposibility of the taxpayer to bail out every political whim of a minority elite who want to look as if they have concerns for our once beutiful island.

The national trust were the gaurdians of Queens valley and they allowed it to be flooded to satisfy the greed of the deveopers for water.

No water no development.

NO PUBLIC MONEY FOR PLEMONT

James Wiley

Just what assistance does the National Trust get from the government of Jersey on an annual basis?

I think you will find it is none at all, it is entirely self-funded - although I grant you they get corporate sponsorship for certain events, that is not taxpayer money.

I think you are confusing the National Trust with Jersey Heritage which is of course a quango and is constantly begging for more money from the government because they are run like a civil service department.

I Pasdenom

James Wiley,

"...run like a civil service department."

I may not agree with everything Jersey Heritage do, but to be fair they preserve Public owned property do they not; so being run like a public service shouldn't be any real surprise (for better or worse!)

The NTfJ wants to own all the land, and they're not willing to buy it.

I think lending them the money to buy this land would be perfectly acceptable, but they claim to have been running a campaign for more than 10years, and have PLEDGES of under £3m How would they ever pay it back?

donald pond

If we can control population growth we won't need 48 houses at Plemont, the site will become much cheaper and the owner would probably be happy to sell it for £2m.

What will Jersey look like in 5 or 10 years time? Nobody knows is the simple answer. But we already have thousands unemployed, the finance industry is not growing and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of empty houses and flats. Builders are pulling out of schemes as quickly as they can.

I suspect the only way the owner of this site makes any money is if the whole thing is bought by the States. Because I don't see there being buyers for 48 luxury/executive homes at the moment or in the forseeable future.

Mario

Excellent idea Geoff it is good to see someone who can think outside the box.

I would quite happy with this solution.

I would be much happier to spend £10M on this project and save £300M, or whatever the end cost will be, by not building the proposed finance quarter.

Real Truthseeker

I was starting to think, well if the National Trust pay for it eventually, then OK, but I have since been made aware the NT can't even keep their existing land in order. Ragwort is everywhere on their land. If that was someone else, they woudl be heavily fined.

They won't be able to return this to nature, when their existing land is in disarray.