Plans rejected for multimillion-pound development of Jersey's Waterfront

The proposed plans for the Waterfront, which have now been rejected. (36678792)

PLANS for a multimillion-pound development of the Waterfront – which would have included around 1,000 homes – have been thrown out by a panel of politicians set up to determine whether it should be approved.

An application to develop a large area of reclaimed land – from Aquasplash to West Park – was submitted by the Jersey Development Company last year.

It involved building close to a 1,000 homes as well as a new leisure complex, art-house cinema, parks, a lido pool, restaurants, bars and new slipway.

The application was assessed by an independent planning inspector at a public inquiry in May, who recommended that it should not be accepted in its current form.

That recommendation was made to a panel of politicians – comprising Environment Minister Jonathan Renouf, Assistant Environment Minister Hilary Jeune and Planning Committee Chair Philip Le Sueur – who have now made an official, and unanimous, decision.

Deputy Renouf said: “This development is of huge significance for our island and its residents. Therefore, it needs to be an exemplar. The Determining Panel believes the Waterfront is an opportunity to achieve something special in terms of urban design, public realm, and sustainable transport. However, the current application fails to meet the required standard.

“I wish to thank the independent inspector for his work in holding the public inquiry and for producing an exceptionally thorough and clear report. I would also like to thank all those who contributed to the public inquiry which fed into the report.”

The inspector’s report recommended that the planning application should not be accepted in its current form.

It further recommended that the application should remain open to allow the applicant to make adjustments, leading to a second ‘mini planning inquiry’.

The Determining Panel agreed the application should not be accepted but added that there are too many areas of the application which require significant changes and therefore decided not to leave the application open for adjustments. This means a new application will need to be submitted.

The key reasons for refusal were:

  • The proposed development would fail to achieve the community expectation of reconnection between St Helier and the Waterfront.
  • The application does not demonstrate how it will achieve good quality housing and living conditions. Most of the proposed flats are likely to be single aspect, many would be facing a noisy road and some would have poor aspects due to facing tall buildings at close proximity.
  • The application provides insufficient improvements to La Route de la Liberation, leaving a largely untamed highway that separates the waterfront from the rest of town.
  • The proposed development involves substantial excavation to create basement areas for parking and servicing. This would produce contaminated waste for which there is no satisfactory waste management solution.
  • The proposed level of affordable housing represents a low level of provision.