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Constable Drops Bid To Halt Waterfront Development

Credit: JDC

Constable Simon Crowcroft has withdrawn his proposition calling for a pause to the redevelopment of Jersey's Waterfront.

Politicians had been due to debate halting the Jersey Development Company's planned transformation of the Waterfront this week.

Constable Crowcroft was calling for a delay until a Town Masterplan has been drawn up for St Helier.

But on the eve of the States sitting, he has dropped his proposition - saying he his talks with the Council of Ministers has led to 'a shift in the position of the government'.

"I was concerned about a number of things in the current proposals, and they appear to me to have been answered.  In particular, the lack of a coherent plan for St Helier. The government has agreed to do that, and to show show the cycling, parking and walking strategies will work for the whole town."

He says Ministers have also offered to put 'serious money' into the old town.

Over the next five years, and additional £3 million a year will be spent on 'urban regeneration'. It was the 1990s when there was last public investment on this scale.

The Constable says his parish was promised benefits from the receipts of Waterfront developments to improve other parts of the capital.

"I was promised more than a decade ago and it's only now that we're seeing some real signs that government appreciates the need that the 'old town'. The parts of St. Helier that haven't been improved for 25 years, really do need investment."

So, I'm really pleased with that. I think there's an offer on the table I can work with.

I think we are going to see some practical improvements in how our streets look and feel. We are going to replaced pavements, trees, street lighting and all the things that make living in town pleasant and enjoyable.  Those things are to be welcomed."

Constable Crowcroft says he remains concerned about the number of homes  - around 1,000 - being planned for the Waterfront, but that is a matter that can be raised at the public planning inquiry scheduled for mid-May.

He says the government has pledged to consider 'an anchor civic building' next to the International Finance Centre.

"There is an opportunity to create something very special.  It could be an art gallery or a winter garden.  These were always part of the vision for the Waterfront.

As much as people want to see homes built on the Waterfront, St Helier is already accepting a great deal of housing and the Waterfront is an opportunity to create cultural facilities and sporting and leisure activities that will make it a place that people will want to head to, whether they live in Jersey or are visiting."

JDC's Waterfront Plans are on show at the Town Hall again today (Tuesday 21 March).

The States-owned development company has said its plans are borne out of the 'vibrant destination' islanders have said they want for the Waterfront.

As well as the near 1,000 homes, more than half the site will be open space and there will be a new indoor swimming pool, children's aquatics centre, indoor kids' zone and bouldering centre.

JDC's CEO, Lee Henry says any delays that are placed upon the scheme will just add time onto the two-year period before construction commences.

"We're kind of five years away from now from handing over the keys for owners of their new homes."

The newly listed La Fregate will be moved to make room. Its architect, Derek Mason, is opposed to this idea.

"The reason they want to get rid of the cafe is that it kind of spoils the view from the housing. ..That's the kind of madness, it should stay there for somebody to look at...the appreciation of modern architecture."

I've just been completely ignored, the whole process is flawed, and it's wrong and should be scrapped."

Channel 103 also spoke to some islanders who went along to the Town Hall on Monday to see the plans

"It lacks imagination."

"They herald the figure 56% of the site is going to be green, but already most of that site included in that 56% is already green."

"I think it's a good idea... sustainable development. Using the space we have to meet the needs we have and look to the future."

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