‘Only idiots would turn this down’: Plans submitted for 16 first-time-buyer homes in St John
‘ONLY a bunch of idiots’ would turn down a scheme to build 16 oversubscribed first-time-buyer homes on agricultural land in St John along with playing fields for the parish’s primary school, Constable Chris Taylor has said.
According to Mr Taylor, around 170 parishioners have already signed up to be in with a chance of obtaining one of the three-bedroom properties – due to be sold by Andium for around £330,000 each.
Asked how buyers of each house would be selected, he said: ‘This is where it gets difficult. There is no hard and fast rule but families should come first – those with children – then those wanting to start a family and then you go down the scale to those who are getting married and want to buy their first home.
‘We are expecting to sell each property for around £330,000 each which is significantly cheaper than what you would normally pay. You will not get a three-bedroom house in St John for under half a million. It is one of the most expensive parishes to buy as – I would naturally say this as Constable – it is one of the best and people very much want to live here.
‘But it will not plug the gap – there is clearly a need for still more housing. This is simply a badly needed scheme and only a bunch of idiots would turn it down.’
Mr Taylor added that the scheme was also vital for pupils at the school who currently did not have any immediate access to green space.
‘St John’s Primary School has less green space than any other primary school in the Island – yet we are in the countryside. At the moment, if they want to go and play football, they have to be driven in a minibus to St John’s Recreation Centre,’ he said.
‘The application would include a play area, along with a junior football pitch, and the community gain would be enormous.
‘About a whole generation who went to the school have grown up since this was first discussed in the 1990s – that is why I am so keen to get this done. I want to make sure no more children go through without having access to an outdoor facility.’
In August, the parish also submitted an application to build public gardens and a car park along with creating a pétanque court and relocating the Cenotaph.
Mr Taylor added that he sincerely hoped that application would also be passed – citing safety concerns – and said he did not believe that either the Jersey Farmers Union or the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society would raise any objections.
‘At the moment, children are being dropped off in the middle of the road, which is extremely dangerous. We have got to make a secure area for them.’