New plans for Fort Regent to be announced, Scrutiny told

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (38044844)

NEW plans for Fort Regent – including a skate park and leisure facilities – are to be announced soon, a Scrutiny panel heard on Tuesday 14 May.

Following years of debate and proposals to transform the site – and the closure of most of the amenities – Infrastructure Minister Andy Jehan said that a new bid to bring life back to the Fort was under way.

He told the Environment, Housing, and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel that although the redevelopment could not be achieved in this government’s remaining term, new plans including a permanent skate park, children’s play area, youth and other leisure facilities – but no hotel or casino – are to be announced shortly.

During the hearing, the panel also sought clarification over the funding of critical infrastructure works needed to progress the development of affordable housing and ensure that existing properties were adequately serviced and protected from flooding.

In a statement following the hearing, panel chair Deputy Hilary Jeune said: “The minister highlighted significant gaps in his budget. He will be bidding for an extra £10 million a year to be included in the next Government Plan to help ensure the Island’s liquid waste infrastructure is updated in order to enable new homes to be built; plus there is a shortfall of £2 million needed to just maintain, not improve, our roads.

“While Constable Jehan has indicated there is an acknowledged need among fellow ministers for investment in infrastructure, there are going to be tough conversations to agree to significant extra funding.”

There will also soon be a decision on the site of a skate park in St Helier, which, the panel heard, would not be in Gas Place, which is earmarked for a new school.

The minister confirmed his personal view would be to delist at least some of St Saviour’s Hospital so that the green areas of the site can be maintained and a new development can take place on the existing building footprint. Other properties could also be considered for de-listing where appropriate, the panel was told.

The minister also confirmed that he did not have any budget to support the Evie business and that any electric-bike project funded by government would need to go out to tender as other operators were available.

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