Plans for new housing estate in Jersey

Planning application for Sion Village (Ashbe Construction/Mac Architects) (37544514)

PLANS have been submitted to build a new housing estate in St John.

Ashbe Construction have put forward the proposals for a field in Sion Village adjacent to Grande Route de St Jean and next to the Sion Methodist Church.

According to the Bridging Island Plan, the re-zoned site must be used for affordable housing – meaning the properties will be eligible for the government’s assisted-purchase scheme.

Planning application for Sion Village (Ashbe Construction/Mac Architects) (37544508)

Ben Cairney, chief executive of Ashbe, said that over 50 interested parties had already contacted him about how to secure one of the properties, which he said showed that affordable homes for young families were “desperately needed”.

The plans comprise three two-bedroom, 32 three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom homes with parking, gardens, plus new vehicle and pedestrian access.

Almost a third of the site will be given to the parish and dedicated to public use, and the communal open space could feature a pétanque court, orchard, rain garden, herb garden and playground for older children.

Architects had to implement changes following the delayed release of supplementary planning guidance in November, which meant that parking requirements had to be “greatly” reduced from two to one per dwelling, with additional space used for additional landscaping and visitor parking.

Mr Cairney said that it had taken longer than expected to submit the plans because the developer was waiting for the supplementary guidance to be released. He said: “The reaction to the plans has been largely positive, and we have had a huge amount of people contacting us.

Planning application for Sion Village (Ashbe Construction/Mac Architects) (37544518)

“There are around 50 people who want to be put on the waiting list and want to know whether they can be prioritised, without even publicising them for sale.

“It shows that these types of affordable homes are needed desperately.”

He said that he hoped the communal space could be “multi-generational”.

Islanders have also welcomed the plans with many public comments already on the application.

One commented: “An amazing looking development in a sustainable location on a fantastic bus route. I’ve seen many housing proposals put forward and this one looks like it has really hit the sweet spot in terms of what the Island is in desperately in need of, and that’s family housing.”

He said it was a “breath of fresh air” that the developer had brought this scheme to the table.

“It angers me that anyone would try to suggest this isn’t a great scheme for the island,” he added.

Others shared his opinion, saying that “more like this need to happen”.

Another wrote: “This is a great initiative and definitely something that is required in Jersey to sustain the rising costs of living and property markets.There are so many young local families who cannot afford to purchase their own property, at best all they can afford is a small apartment.’

However, concerns were raised that there was “real potential to significantly and permanently harm the setting and character of Sion Village”, as well as about conservation, traffic and wildlife.

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