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Vision for 500 new Waterfront homes

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PLANS for 500 new homes on the Waterfront are due to be lodged later this year.

If given approval, the housing would be built on part of the yellow section Picture: JDC

Jersey Development Company wants to progress its vision for the site north of the Radisson Blu Hotel, which includes Jardins de la Mer and the adjoining car park.

The exact detail of the proposals have yet to be finalised, but apartments are expected to take up the majority of the development, with some retail and community space also likely to be included.

A 2019 report into the Island’s future housing requirements found that almost 7,000 additional homes would be needed by 2030.

JDC managing director Lee Henry said that the project followed the publication of the Southwest St Helier Planning Framework in 2019, with an outline planning application due to be lodged by the end of this year, and detailed designs next year.

‘We know that the new Island Plan will lay out the housing needs for the next decade, and the Waterfront provides a great opportunity for this,’ he said.

The planning framework acknowledges that the Waterfront remains a possible site for the location of Jersey’s new hospital. In the event of it being chosen as the preferred site, the framework would be amended and the proposed housing scheme would be unlikely to proceed.

Mr Henry said work on the new site would follow on from successful development of apartment-style homes at Castle Quay and Harbour Reach.

‘There is a reluctance to see more green-field development outside the existing built-up area, and the site at Les Jardins offers great views, good amenities and is just a short walk to work for many people.’

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Public space would be part of the project, Mr Henry said, citing Marina Gardens, the tree-lined Route de Port Elizabeth and the seafront promenades as previous examples of this approach. A new car park will also be included.

The site has previously been put forward as a potential location for the new hospital and was at one stage on a five-strong shortlist of possible options. No site has yet been identified for the hospital, with government officials working on drawing up a new shortlist of prospective sites. It is unclear whether the JDC plan would prevent the Waterfront from future consideration.

It is possible that the proposed scheme may include an element of affordable housing, as was the case with the JDC redevelopment of College Gardens, the former Jersey College for Girls building, which was completed last year. Of a total of 187 units at College Gardens, 40 were social housing for the over 55s with another 40 designated for first-time buyers on a shared-ownership basis.

Mr Henry said that the potential inclusion of affordable properties would be determined following discussions with the government.

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Les Jardins is one element of JDC’s plans for the Waterfront that also include progressing the International Finance Centre. Construction on the third building – IFC 6 – is due to start later this year, while a planning application for IFC 2 – the fourth in the series – was submitted in December 2019.

JDC acquired the leisure complex at the Waterfront in 2018 and there will be future development of this site, which includes Cineworld, the Aquasplash pool and Fitness First gym. Mr Henry said this was likely to commence once existing leases expired or reached break clauses in 2027, with decisions about the site’s future being closely linked to plans for Fort Regent.

On another part of the Waterfront site, work is continuing on the Horizon project that is a joint venture between JDC and French construction company Groupe Legendre.

The Horizon scheme includes 280 apartments of which 80% have been pre-sold.

Mr Henry said that JDC also intended to undertake further regeneration projects at former government buildings at South Hill – formerly the Planning Department building – and Cyril Le Marquand House. Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis told States Members in November that the Island’s Regeneration Steering Group, the government’s development advisory body, had agreed to sell the sites to the publicly owned firm.

‘South Hill is a fantastic site offering great views and proximity to town – it could be a really stunning development,’ Mr Henry said.

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