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Caretaker’s cottage at Masonic Temple to become one-bed flats?

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FIVE one-bedroom flats could be built on the site of a caretaker’s cottage which adjoins the Stopford Road Masonic Temple, if plans are approved.

Picture: ROB CURRIE (23937615)

Jersey Freemasons are also hoping to construct a new kitchen and ancillary storage space within the same development.

The plans follow a previous application that was turned down by the Planning Department in June on the basis that the proposals were ‘out of character and detrimental to the street scene’.

That scheme attracted complaints from a nearby resident and the National Trust for Jersey, which raised concerns about the style and height of the proposed building.

However, Provincial Grand Master Kenneth Rondel – the head of the Freemasons in Jersey – said the original plans had now been scaled back.

‘In our resubmitted plans we have one fewer apartment, we have also reduced the height and the façade is also more in keeping with the other buildings,’ he said. ‘One of the property owners was also concerned that the original design would have blocked out their sunlight, but we have now readjusted the model and our architects are now able to prove that that will not be an issue.

‘We have gone to great lengths to ensure they will not be affected by the development.’

Mr Rondel added that if the scheme was approved, rental income from the apartments would help pay to maintain the site’s Grade 2 listed temple, which was built in 1864.

‘The original application was put together to try to be in keeping with the Masonic Temple building, but it is now more in keeping with the Victorian properties on Oxford Road,’ Mr Rondel said.

‘It should have a dual effect. If we can get permission to build it, it will add accommodation to an area of St Helier that desperately needs more housing.

‘But also, in due course, it would help us with our building, which costs over £2,000 a week to maintain – in generations to come that will increase.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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