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Rallying call for Islanders to back coastline petition

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A RALLYING call has been issued to Islanders to sign a major new petition aimed at protecting Jersey’s coastline.

Charles Alluto

The National Trust for Jersey is aiming for 42,000 signatures for its Join Hands campaign – an initiative to mark the ten-year anniversary of the A Line in the Sand demonstration in St Ouen’s Bay.

But more than a month since its launch, only 2,531 people have signed the petition. Charles Alluto (pictured left), the trust’s chief executive, has described its progress as ‘slow’.

He is now urging people to put their name to the campaign within the next few months – before politicians and civil servants begin to formulate the Island Plan, which will set Jersey’s planning policy for the next ten years.

‘It has been rather down compared to what we would have hoped for, but we did make some changes quite early on to make the petition easier to use,’ he said.

‘We also think that not enough people may have known about it and we are now hoping to do some advertising in the run-up to Christmas.

‘I am also not sure the level of awareness has been high enough. Perhaps we are not demonstrating why we need the petition and we need to work better to show examples of inappropriate coastal development so they realise why making noise about this is so important,’ he added.

On 4 October 2009, around 6,000 Islanders linked arms on the beach in St Ouen’s Bay for the A Line in the Sand protest.

This time, the charity is hoping to obtain 42,000 signatures, which would represent a virtual ring of people around the entire Island.

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‘It is perfect timing to demonstrate to politicians that we need robust policy and it only comes around every ten years,’ Mr Alluto said.

‘There has got to be a robust policy. For example, in the National Park there is still permitted development, even though those areas are supposed to be afforded the highest level of protection. You just cannot have the highest level of protection and permitted development in the same sentence.

‘We have got three to four months to get a good response so that we can place it in front of the policy-makers and independent reviewers. I would ask people to sign up as soon as they are able.’

Anyone who wishes to sign the petition should visit nationaltrust.je.

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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