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Office block to become housing?

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AN empty office block in one of St Helier’s oldest streets could once again become housing if Planning approves a change-of-use application.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (23862741)

Number 45 La Motte Street – next to Standard Bank – was originally built in a terrace of seven substantial town houses more than 200 years ago by Jacques Hemery. They became known as Hemery Row. Today, only the original granite façade survives, with a 20th-century office building to the rear accessed from Ann Street. However, the houses would have been originally rendered in the Regency style of the day.

In the application documents, Page Architects, acting for DF Investment, say: ‘The current office building has been redundant for some time with a lack of take-up due to location and restricted floor plates and internal layout.

‘The proposal is for the change in use of the office accommodation into residential. This will create nine two-bedroom units and one one-bedroom unit over the existing four levels – four floors to the front and three to the rear – with a stairwell extension to the rear.’

Only five of Mr Hemery’s original houses remain – numbers 37, 39, 41, 43, and 45. No 47 became part of a garage that stood on the corner of Ann Street now occupied by Standard Bank and some of the walls of number 49 still exist.

La Motte Street first appears on Island maps in the 17th century from the end of Rue du Milieu (Queen Street) at Carrefour de la Pompe de Haut (Snow Hill) to Manoir de la Motte, which was demolished in 1958. At that time there were open fields to the east and north.

Paula Thelwell

By Paula Thelwell
author

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