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Petition highlights ‘desperate need’ for affordable housing

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A PETITION has been launched to ‘highlight the desperate need’ for affordable housing schemes across Jersey after plans for a large development in St Peter were rejected last month.

The Constable of St Peter, John Refault

The move has been endorsed by St Peter’s outgoing Constable John Refault who claimed that some applicants were left in ‘tears’ after plans for the 65-home Ville du Manoir project in his parish were rejected by Environment Minister Steve Luce following an independent planning inspection.

The scheme would have seen dozens of three-bedroom homes built on farmland between the Sir George de Carteret pub and St George’s School.

Deputy Luce said that the application failed for a number of reasons and, in particular, because it contravened the Island Plan, an aim of which is to protect Jersey’s countryside.

The new petition, which was started by Islander Hannah Crawford and can be found on change.org, says that there is an ‘Island-wide’ need for affordable housing that needs to be addressed.

‘With the devastating news that the Ville du Manoir scheme had been rejected, we need signatures to show that there is a need for these schemes not just in St Peter but Island-wide,’ it says.

‘With the planning department rejecting the St Peter’s scheme what is to say that they will [not] reject others in the future as most parishes would like a first-time scheme up and running in the next year or so.’

Mr Refault said that he intends to re-submit plans for Ville du Manoir and has sent an email to applicants urging them to lobby the Planning Department to move the scheme forward.

‘It is imperative that our predicament is not consigned to yesterday’s news and remains high profile until we do get the planning permission required, to allow this shared ownership model of purchase to become the norm across all parishes for the benefit of our young families,’ he said.

‘The state of progress on the submission of a new application is already underway. I have over the past two weeks been meeting with decision makers at the highest of levels to share my strong views and seek a way forward to bring Ville du Manoir into being.’

He added: ‘While I urge you all to be engaged, I do also recognise that with such a large number of applicants many of you will be unsuccessful, however, should this development come to pass, there are currently four other parishes minded to copy this not-for-profit shared ownership model, which may give you another chance in another parish-led scheme.’

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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