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Public urged to have their say on next Island Plan

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ISLANDERS have been urged to play their part in developing policy that will shape life in Jersey for a decade.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON

A major consultation process has been launched as part of work to create the new Island Plan, which is set to be adopted in early 2021.

The new plan will outline a direction for major decisions about where future housing development will take place, protection of the Island’s marine environment and achieving a sustainable economy.

Several key initiatives will feed into the Island plan, including the blueprint for shoreline management, the focus on future development in St Helier and the aim to make Jersey carbon neutral by 2030.

A three-month consultation process began this week and will include a series of drop-in events and stakeholder meetings across every parish as well as online questionnaires and social media engagement.

Environment Minister John Young said Islanders had the chance to influence and shape the future and to help keep Jersey a unique and special place to live.

‘The Island Plan is at the heart of the planning system,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t just govern where buildings can and can’t be built, but determines how we will protect our natural environment and shape the Island that our children will grow up in.’

The plan is being developed at the same time as the government strives to bring in a population policy, and includes a range of projections about how many new houses will be needed in the future depending on migration levels.

‘The population policy may not be ready, but there will be different scenarios used in the plan, and planning can be more dynamic to reflect migration,’ the minister said. ‘My own view, which I made clear when I stood for election last year, is that the Island cannot sustain the current level of population growth into the future, we have to bring it to a sustainable level – that work is ongoing.’

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A series of options is outlined for future development, including increased density in St Helier, a focus on the outskirts of town or switching to out-of-town development, whether this is other built-up areas, new settlements or even development in the countryside. Some of these options fall outside the scope of the current Island Plan, but the next plan is taking a ‘blank canvas’ approach, with all options up for consideration.

Feedback is also invited about other key issues, including:

  • Encouraging offshore renewable energy projects that harness winds and tidal flows.
  • Introducing the concept of conservation areas.

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  • The townscape of St Helier, including whether current limits on the height of buildings in the capital should be maintained.
  • Whether greater priority should be given to pedestrians, cyclists and buses.
  • What to do with redundant and derelict glasshouses.

The online questionnaire is available at gov.je/Islandplanreview. Feedback can also be provided in ‘hard copy’ form at the consultation meetings. A calendar of the events is also available on the site.

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