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Planning appeal ‘to cost over £500K in lost visitor spending’

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A NEW Premier Inn will lose £500,000 in revenue due to a four-month delay after an appeal was lodged against its planning approval, developers have claimed.

MISSING CAPTION (26497532)

In October, the Planning Committee gave the green light to Le Masurier’s plans to redevelop Bath Street by constructing a 122-bedroom Premier Inn and 145 apartments.

Developers had hoped to begin work early next year on the site, but it will now be delayed by at least four months after a local resident lodged an appeal.

He claims the decision is contrary to the 2011 Island Plan.

Le Masurier managing director Brian McCarthy said it was frustrating that a ‘minority voice’ was able to set the project back.

Managing Director of Le Masurier, Brian McCarthy Picture: ROB CURRIE. (26498624)

‘The third-party appeal that has been made against our planning consent is not in the best interests of St Helier or our Island,’ he said.

‘I am extremely frustrated by the appeal that will delay the project for at least four months and comes at a cost to the taxpayer in order to bring in a planning inspector from the UK.

‘Four months of delay will mean that 13,000 overnight stays are lost, over £500,000 of visitor spending will be lost, local people will have to wait even longer for much needed housing and an area crying out for regeneration remains stagnant, when we are geared up and ready to deliver as promised.

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‘The Planning Department and Planning Committee consented to our redevelopment of Bath Street because of the very tangible benefits that it will bring to tourism, housing, employment, regeneration and investment.’

He added that public consultations on the £70 million development had also indicated ‘enormous support’ from Islanders, businesses and organisations.

He said: ‘Social media was extremely active with hundreds of positive comments being fully supportive and backing the redevelopment.

‘At the recent Planning Committee meeting many local businesses and organisations also spoke out in support.

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‘A minority voice is causing unnecessary delay and costs. This is extremely disappointing.

Bath Street, proposed site for a second Premier Inn next to the former Odeon cinema, now Freedom Church Picture: JON GUEGAN. (26497536)

The resident believes the decision fails to respect the impact the scale of the buildings would have on surrounding buildings and traffic impact.

His other reasons are that he believes the committee failed to give significant weight to the value of existing buildings and the North of Town Masterplan.

A planning inspector will now be brought in to review the planning application.

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