165 new homes to be built in town

PLANS have been passed for 165 new social rented homes in the north of St Helier, in a project which is key to a major States masterplan for the area.

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(19956244)

Andium Homes had applied to build a mixture of one- and two-bedroom apartments on the former Ann Court site, as well as an underground public car park and retail units.

Providence Street, which leads into Belmont Road, will be closed to traffic permanently – despite concerns from businesses in the area, including one which said it had lost £50,000 in revenue the last time the road was closed for a year.

On Thursday the Planning Committee unanimously approved the plans.

However, committee chairman Juliette Gallichan said that there should be a condition that no changes be made to the road layout until the new public car park is in place.

Earlier she had addressed concerns raised at the meeting by Jonathan Reed, the director of Premier Carpets and Furnishings, who told the committee that when Providence Street had been closed for a year while flood prevention works were carried out the business had lost around £50,000. He said that he had no objections to the actual development, but that closing the street permanently would be ‘catastrophic’ for the business.

‘We get a lot of people who come in because they have driven past us,’ he said. Shortly after, his father John, who is also involved with the business, left the hearing visibly upset at the discussions and after claiming that they had not been made aware of a public consultation on the closure as early as the developer had said.

Addressing Jonathan’s concerns, Mrs Gallichan said that the panel would take on board the comments, but she added that the redevelopment and the new shops and car park would bring increased footfall to the area which could be positive for the business.

The £30 million development of the site includes underground parking over two levels, with 137 short-term public spaces for shoppers and 90 for residents, and four new retail units.

A row of four houses in Ann Street as well as Toddy’s Bar – formerly the Oddfellows public house – will be demolished.

The site was previously occupied by the States housing development Ann Court, which was demolished in 2008.

Principal historic buildings officer Tracey Ingle told the committee that the demolition of the four listed homes contravened planning policy. However, she acknowledged that a balance had to be struck.

The 2010 North of Town Masterplan offers a blueprint for the redevelopment of the whole area around Ann Street and Gas Place and identified Ann Court as a key site for new homes.

Earlier this year Andium bought the nearby former Ann Street Brewery from developers Comprop CI along with two adjoining sites and it plans to build 150 homes. If planning consent is given work on that project will commence after the development Ann Court.

Planning Committee members Constable Philip Le Sueur and Deputy Jeremy Maçon also backed the Ann Court plans yesterday, while Deputy Russell Labey excused himself from the decision as the development is in his district.

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