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Trees at Fort Regent and minimum flat sizes (FOI)

Trees at Fort Regent and minimum flat sizes (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 27 April 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Under the FOI law I wish to request the following:


How many trees to from 1/1/22- 2/4/22 have been felled at fort regent.

The amount of carbon (or other green house gases) which was stored by these trees.

The minimum size of a new build 2 bed flat in jersey? . The only information I can find is under the following

A minimum specification for new housing developments


If this is still used when will it be updated as this is from 2009 and uses a method based on the Parker-Morris report of 1961. 



As part of the Fort Regent development project the Parks and Gardens team (P&G) have been tasked with the removal of some trees on the site between October 2021 to May 2022. 

A total of 80 trees have been removed or coppiced between October 2021 and 5 April 2022 as detailed below. 

  • 27 were dead or dying due to Sooty bark or Dutch Elm disease
  • 33 were causing direct damage to structures such as retaining walls
  • 20 were coppiced as part of regular tree regeneration on the site 

P&G does not record the specific dates when the trees were removed trees from Fort Regent, therefore, the information is not held, and Article 10 of Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. 


The Government of Jersey has not calculated the amount of carbon stored within these trees therefore, this information is not held, and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies. 

UK Government agencies have not yet provided a common calculation method to enable us to determine the carbon offset in trees since it can vary depending upon the height and maturity of the tree. 


The 'Minimum Specification for New Housing Developments' referred to in your request is the current specifications and can be accessed on using the following link.  Therefore, your request is partially exempt under Article 23 (Information accessible to applicant by other means) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. 

Housing developments specifications (planning policy note) ( 


The following proposal to update the standards for building designs and specifications is included in the Bridging Island Plan 2022-2025 which was approved by the States Assembly on 25 March 2022. 

Proposal 18 – Design for homes 

The Minister for the Environment will review, and issue revised supplementary planning guidance setting out new design standards for the design and specification of new homes to ensure that new residential accommodation can provide islanders with good quality homes. 

The Plan sets out a number of proposals and work is underway to ensure that these are prioritised and resourced to enable their implementation. 

At the present time, it is not possible to provide a definitive timescale in relation to completion of this proposal, but it is envisaged that it will be progressed during 2022. 

Further information regarding the development of the revised building standards is exempt from release under Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law. 

Articles applied 

Article 10 - Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding Information 

(1)     Subject to paragraph (2), if –

(a)     a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and

(b)     the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.

(2)     If a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority and –

(a)     the information is absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information; or

(b)     if the authority does not hold the information, the information would be absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information if it had held it,the authority may refuse to inform the applicant whether or not it holds the information if it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, it is in the public interest to do so.

(3)     If a scheduled public authority so refuses –

(a)     it shall be taken for the purpose of this Law to have refused to supply the information requested on the ground that it is absolutely exempt information; and

(b)     it need not inform the applicant of the specific ground upon which it is refusing the request or, if the authority does not hold the information, the specific ground upon which it would have refused the request had it held the information. 

Article 23 - Information accessible to applicant by other means 

(1)     Information is absolutely exempt information if it is reasonably available to the applicant, otherwise than under this Law, whether or not free of charge.

(2)     A scheduled public authority that refuses an application for information on this ground must make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where the applicant may obtain the information. 

Article 35 - Formulation and development of policies 

Information is qualified exempt information if it relates to the formulation or development of any proposed policy by a public authority. 

Public Interest Test 

In applying this article, the following considerations were taken into account. 

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure 

  • Disclosure of the information would support transparency and promote accountability to the general public, providing confirmation that the necessary discussions have taken place. 
  • Disclosure to the public fulfils an educative role about the early stages in policy development and illustrates how the department engages with parties for this purpose.  

Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information 

  • In order to best develop policy and provide advice to Ministers, officials need a safe space in which free and frank discussion can take place – discussion of how documentation is presented and provided is considered as integral to policy development as iterations of documents are demonstrative of the policy development process. 
  • The need for this safe space is considered at its greatest during the live stages of a policy. 
  • Release of the information at this stage might generate misinformed debate. This would affect the ability of officials to consider and develop policy away from external pressures, and to advise Ministers appropriately. 
  • Premature disclosure of this information may limit the willingness of parties to provide their honest views and feedback. This would hamper and harm the policy–making process not only in relation to this subject area but in respect of future policy development across wider departmental business.

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