BOTH the draft bridging Island Plan and the locating of Our Hospital at Overdale are little short of a disaster for the Island and a sad reflection on our government. When will the great and the good appear from behind the secret veil of the citizens’ panel and justify their choice of Overdale for the site for Our Hospital over Warwick Farm and St Saviour’s Hospital?
As for the interim Island Plan… we can all remember when, in our 20s, we were desperate to acquire our first house. So, it’s not surprising that there is such a demand for housing. This is a result of the unsustainable growth in the finance industry, which has outgrown the Island’s resources.
Consequently, the Environment Minister has based the interim Island Plan on an explosion in building on productive agricultural land, which hardly equates with the aims of the Planning Law to protect and preserve the Island environment and landscape. Directing protection exclusively to the waste land in coastal areas for their scenic value is all very well, but the Island is better known internationally for its Jersey cows and Jersey Royal potatoes and land which is dedicated to their production is equally important and scenic in preserving the Island’s identity and its heartlands.
Difficult as it may seem, the only long-term solution is to resist any further development in the countryside and controlling the unsustainable growth of the finance industry by discouraging immigration to the Island and encouraging emigration. The Island’s customary laws on succession were based on the rule of primogeniture, which may not have respected any thoughts of equality between siblings, did encourage the younger sons to seek their fortune out of the Island and, in essence, operated as a form of population