New business park and Co-op store is planned for site of former JEP offices

A NEW business park – including a Co-op store – could be built on the grounds of the former JEP offices at Five Oaks, if plans are approved.

Le Gallais, which bought the site last year, has lodged a planning application to demolish the existing buildings and create a new commercial and industrial trade park which it says would create at least 30 jobs.

Under the plans, a Co-op Locale store would be built closest to the road and a new Le Gallais storage unit to accommodate overspill from its town facility would be constructed behind it, along with four light-industrial units and offices.

A total of 58 car parking spaces and 26 bicycle parking spaces would be created for the three facilities. A zebra crossing would also be built on the main road – Grande Route de St Martin – to improve pedestrian safety, if plans are approved.

The development would also include one of the largest solar installations in the Channel Islands which would be capable of generating enough electricity to power at least 15 homes.

The then Bailiff, Sir Frank Ereaut, opening the JEP offices at Five Oaks in 1977 (29633908)

Mark Cox, Co-op chief executive, said: ‘We know we have a lot of members living in the Five Oaks area and we believe this new store will be very much welcomed by them.

‘Our Maufant store is very small and significantly overtrades and it is fantastic that we are now able to add an additional store in the area, which will be built to the highest standard with a number of features which will benefit the local environment.

‘As a locally owned community retailer we are delighted to be working with one of Jersey’s oldest businesses, Le Gallais, on this new development.’

According to the design statement by architects Axis Mason, the site would be landscaped to provide screening and protect and enhance wildlife in the rural area. A strip of native trees would be planted along the north-east of the site and existing mature hawthorn hedging will be retained.

The design statement says that the trees and hedging will ‘create a dense planted screen that will enrich wildlife habitat whilst creating a buffer zone between the site and the agricultural fields to the north’.

Tim Le Gallais, managing director of Le Gallais, which is investing £12 million in the Five Oaks site, said: ‘This is a significant development for our business and one we believe will bring rewards for the local community at Five Oaks, for small businesses needing quality modern facilities and for those who need short- or long-term storage space. We have considerable experience of developing mixed-use sites in the UK but this project will be a first for Jersey.

‘The project team has worked tirelessly to come up with a scheme that we can be proud of, and that will transform this redundant commercial site. I am delighted that another Channel Island business with a long local history has come on board the project. The Channel Islands Co-op has a warm place in Islanders’ hearts, giving back to the community it serves and that is very much in line with our own business mission.’

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