Belles Fleurs Nurseries, off Rue au Blancq, was bought by its current owner Bernard Rebour in April 1989 and began selling bedding plants to hotels, holiday attractions and to private gardens and gardeners.
But, according to a design statement contained within a planning application, sales reduced dramatically from 2012 as hotels and tourist attractions closed. Imports of horticultural goods into Jersey from Dutch and UK suppliers as well as sales from supermarkets, DIY stores and online also impacted on the company’s finances.
The design statement compiled by Godel Architects says: ‘The business has been operating from the site for a considerable amount of time but, for the reasons explained in the previous section of this report, our client is looking to wind down and is seeking to plan for the future with the ultimate aim of being able to close the garden centre/nursery.
‘It is our client’s intention to demolish all of the existing structures on the site – except the house to the west of the site – and to construct two new one-and-a-half storey four-bedroom dwellings.’
It adds: ‘An additional significant benefit arising from the commercial use of the site will be a considerable reduction in traffic movement along what is a very narrow lane.’
In order to satisfy planning policy requirements to justify the loss of employment land, adverts for the site were placed online, on hoardings at the garden centre and in the JEP three times but no interest was received. Details of the site were also provided to commercial lettings agents and to Economic Development and Jersey Enterprise.
The two proposed properties would make use of Jersey granite with a large area north of the site becoming a meadow with an orchard. Electric-vehicle charging points will also be included. An existing house on the site is due to be retained.
‘We believe that the proposed redevelopment of the site will be an asset to the built and scenic environment and that the proposed units will sit comfortably and contextually within their surroundings,’ the design statement added.
Another garden centre – Longueville Nurseries on New York Lane in neighbouring St Saviour – was run by Brian Hamon and closed its doors around four years ago.