Letter to the Editor from Mike Stentiford, Trinity.
PUTTING it rather aptly, the current controversy over two separate coastline planning applications could be likened to a few ripples short of a high tide.
Many of those public and political figures waging vociferous comment on the pros and cons of major building proposals at Bouley Bay and Grève de Lecq are, in my humble opinion, missing a valid point.
The elusive but valid point being that, exactly one decade ago, political agreement authorised the endorsement into the Island Plan of the Jersey Coastal National Park. Unsurprisingly, included in the protected areas of park coastline are Bouley Bay and Grève de Lecq.
This, according to the current Island Plan, offers both of these coastal areas the ‘highest presumption against inappropriate development’.
Fortunately, the sadly ill-conceived and confusing boundaries drawn up a decade ago are now up for review as part of the draft Bridging Island Plan.
The proposals put forward are to extend the park boundaries which, if agreed upon, would create a far more sensible understanding of our national park.
In other words, extensions to the boundaries would soundly confirm and increase a legally binding commitment towards future land and coastal protection.
It seems at peculiar odds with the environmentally sensitive times we live in, that it’s only when serious changes to the character of landscape hit the proverbial fan that coastal protection suddenly becomes an issue of concern.
When this happens, it should provide us with a timely reminder of the true protective value of Jersey having a national park.
The primary aims of such status are straight forward protection and respect for the Island’s coastline, its countryside and its biodiversity; a shared vision that is uppermost in the strategy of The National Trust for Jersey and its Coastline Campaign.
I fear that if those intent on carrying out radical coastline insensitivity fail to understand the fully rounded protective merit of the Jersey Coastal National Park, then an increase in coastline upsets and conflicts is, unfortunately, guaranteed to continue.