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Call for greater protection for Britain’s third-best beach

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A LONG-running dispute between the Environment Department and residents in St Brelade’s Bay has been reopened, after the beach was named one of the best in Britain by TripAdvisor.

St Brelade's Bay

The chairwoman of the St Brelade’s Bay Association’s, Moz Scott, spoke out after the beach was rated the third best in Britain, as part of the travel website’s Travellers’ Choice awards.

Speaking on behalf of the SBBA, Mrs Scott said: ‘Despite its global recognition, the bay has less scenic protection than other bays in Jersey.

‘It is clear from the outcome of planning applications, such as for the Wayside site, that planning and economic policies have failed to preserve and utilise this valuable top tourist destination optimally for the Island.’

Her comments are part of a continued war of words between Environment and residents of St Brelade’s Bay, who claim the department is ignoring planning regulations by allowing oversized developments in the bay.

‘The SBBA will continue to work towards improving the policies that apply to the bay in the Island Plan,’ Mrs Scott added.

Following the news of the award earlier this week, the SBBA urged the Environment and Tourism Ministers – Deputy John Young and Senator Lyndon Farnham – to: ‘Sort this out in the next Island Plan and with improved tree protection measures.’

Responding to Mrs Scott, Deputy Young said: ‘While I am not aware of any specific threat to the bay, I do agree with Moz Scott that St Brelade’s Bay is a jewel in the Island’s crown which needs a high level of protection.

‘And I am committed to protecting the bay. In 2014 I introduced an amendment to the current Island Plan restricting the size of replacement buildings, specifically the floor area and size of building.

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‘However, we are dependent on the current planning policies, as any changes would require a public consultation, inquiry and States discussion. But I am happy to meet with Mrs Scott and the SBBA to discuss this further.’

Meanwhile, Visit Jersey has responded to the news of the award by launching a campaign to make St Brelade’s Bay the number one best-rated beach in Britain by 2020.

And in a bid to push the bay to first place, they have launched a social media campaign ‘Vote my beach up’ to generate positive TripAdvisor reviews from visitors. As part of this push for the top spot, the team have partnered with the ‘Jersey Sandman’ to draw a giant-sized TripAdvisor logo on St Brelade’s Bay with the tagline ‘#votemybeachup.

Louise Ashworth, head of marketing at Visit Jersey, said: ‘St Brelade’s Bay is one of the Island’s most beautiful beaches with soft sands, palm trees and safe swimming for all.

‘We’re delighted that the TripAdvisor community have awarded us third best-rated beach in the UK, but as we’re sure Islanders will agree, we deserve to be number one.

‘Let’s make 2020 the year we win the top position as the best-rated beach in the UK. We’re going to encourage visitors to share their reviews and we’d love to see the local community support our campaign, by encouraging visiting friends and relatives to “vote my beach up” on our TripAdvisor page.’

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins
Reporter

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