PLANS to build a 50-bed care home and Jersey Hospice shop on redundant glasshouse land at the Holme Grown site in Grouville are due to be decided upon today.
The Planning Committee – a group of politicians who determine major applications – will assess whether the proposal complies with policies in the Bridging Island Plan.
The Planning Department’s recommendation is that it should be refused. However, it is the committee’s final decision.
Responding to that recommendation, the architects working for the applicant have written a letter arguing that the plans should be approved.
Ian McDonald, of Axis Mason, writes that there is already planning permission to build a garden centre on existing glasshouses to the north of the Holme Grown car park.
He added: ‘The proposed fundraising shop for Jersey Hospice, which will provide a gross internal area of 710 m2, including 496 m2 of retail sales area, will be approximately 60% of the area of the extant garden centre retail consent and will therefore be a significant reduction in the approved internal retail use within the site.’
Making the case for the shop, Mr McDonald wrote: ‘Due to the increasing demand for palliative care services in the Island, Jersey Hospice has been spending more than it receives and is now in its third year of annual deficits.
‘The fundraising shop is a critical part of the Hospice strategy to create a secure revenue stream that will allow it to continue to deliver its services without making any charge to Islanders.
‘Hospice has been searching for a suitable location for this facility for over ten years. While the Bridging Island Plan directs development to the existing built-up area, it makes no specific mention for third-sector uses such as this which cannot support the higher levels of land value that, for example, residential development within the built-up area can underpin.
‘Locating this type of facility in the east of the Island at Holme Grown, which would include drop-off facilities for donations as well as sales / collection, will also reduce the level of cross-Island vehicle trips to the existing Hospice fundraising facility in St Ouen.’
The letter argued that the care home was necessary.
‘Care provision at the point of need or within a familiar local environment is by far the most suitable means of caring for those in later life and the eastern parishes are woefully under-provided in this regard.
‘The proposed new care home at Fauvic will begin to address this lack of local provision and will enable elderly parishioners to receive appropriate, high quality nursing care while remaining within their community and close to friends and family.’
A separate application to create a cannabis farm elsewhere on the Fauvic Nurseries site is recommended for approval.