Plans for new government HQ ‘fall short’

A PLAN to replace Cyril Le Marquand House with a new seven-storey government headquarters ‘falls short’ of what is expected and should be rejected, the St Helier Roads Committee has said.

A picture of the proposed office development. Picture: Government of Jersey (31141605)
A picture of the proposed office development. Picture: Government of Jersey (31141605)

In a three-page letter the group raises a number of concerns about the proposals, including issues with parking, changes to nearby roads and an alleged lack of consultation.

The committee also claims that no bus stop has been included within the planning application and that the nearest one is around 120 metres away.

Of particular concern is the potential loss of car parking spaces on The Parade adjacent to the building.

Highlighting what it claims is an unacceptable loss of on-street parking the letter says: ‘It seems that the applicant is anticipating that the existing on-street parking is sufficient to cope with the increased access demand into the building. It should be noted that since the closure of Cyril Le Marquand House there has not been any significant reduction in the use of Parade Gardens car and motorcycle parking – although the parking demand was reduced due to Covid restrictions.

‘There has been no approach to the Roads Committee to discuss proposals on The Parade (eastern arm) which is a parish by-road. The parish acknowledges that the applicant has met with parish officers to discuss site access and egress during the construction stage, however there was no mention of the proposed changes to the Parade.

The existing Cyril Le Marquand House. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (31141611)

‘The Roads Committee urges the Planning Department to refuse planning permission. The proposal falls short of what is expected to be provided in a public building and there has been very poor consultation on the proposals. There is a lost opportunity in easily addressing the issue of parking by creating an underground car park.’

The government began to move out of Cyril Le Marquand House in October 2018 and signed a lease on the former Royal Bank of Canada offices in Broad Street shortly after. In February plans were released for the nine-storey office building at the Cyril Le Marquand House site with officials saying that the development would reduce the public building requirement down from 21 to six – saving around £7 million per year and freeing up sites for housing.

The government previously said that it intends to lease the new building for three years and has an option to buy it during that time. If the planning application is granted construction could be complete by 2024.

The JEP approached the government for a response to the parish’s comments but had not received one before going to print.

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