Use of old school site needs ‘proper consultation process’

DECISIONS about the future use of the former Les Quennevais School site should only be taken after proper consultation, a parish Deputy has said.

Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (29217878)
Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (29217878)

The school premises were vacated as part of the development of a new £40 million building on Route des Quennevais, which opened for pupils earlier this month.

Deputy Montfort Tadier, a former pupil of the school who represents St Brelade No 2 district, said the future of the site was a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’.

‘I have asked lots of questions and hope no hard-and-fast decisions have been made, as a proper consultation process is crucial,’ he said. ‘Local residents must be given the opportunity to have their say, as must other Islanders, as the area is widely loved and used by lots of people.’

Although he stressed the importance of gaining the views of others, Deputy Tadier said his own opinion was that the site should feature a development that benefited the community, rather than large-scale housing projects in what was already one of the most densely populated parts of the Island.

‘I would like to see a greater range of shops in the area, potentially restaurants, cafés, outdoor areas and a drop-in doctors’ surgery to give more of a village feel – not just another off-the-shelf housing development,’ he said.

Adopting a similar model to the St Helier Market, which operates on parish-owned land, could work well at Les Quennevais, he added.

Deputy Tadier, who has also previously raised the prospect of relocating St Brelade Parish Hall from St Aubin to Les Quennevais, appealed for parishioners to give their views.

‘Normally I would already have had a public meeting to get feedback. That isn’t possible because of Covid but we do need to have those conversations.’

Tim Daniels, director of property for the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment department, said the site was recognised as being ‘of strategic importance to the Island as a whole’.

‘Islanders were able to put forward suggestions for its use during a “Call For Sites” consultation, which identifies sites in the Island that may be suitable for development or protection from development,’ he said. ‘These suggestions will be considered in the context of the Island Plan.’

Mr Daniels said that the branch library continued to operate from the former school, as putting it in the grounds of the new school had not been deemed practical. A business case for the relocation of the library was in the process of being drawn up, he added.

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