Camping trial scheme (FOI)
Camping trial scheme (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 20 June 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
This is a freedom of information request related to the camping trial scheme.
What restrictions were placed on you / the scheme, by who and why in the planning process?
What stakeholders where consultant in the planning process?
Why was no one who wishes to stay overnight in a campervan consulted in the planning process?
Why did you only choose one area for the scheme and with only four spaces?
Why have you been seeking the approval from the constables when, it is not required for the scheme to take place on parish land?
It was a States decision that the scheme should take place on infrastructure / government land i.e. all Jersey car parks.
What other States member had any involvement in the scheme?
What objections / obstacles had any impact on the scheme and by who and why?
The political brief regarding this scheme is set out in the agreed States Assembly decision as set out in Parts (b) and (c) of Proposition P.33/2019 to the Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for the Environment ('the Proposition').
The information requested is partially exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 because the information is already accessible on www.statesassemley.gov.je:
Le Port Car Park, St. Peter: rescindment of parking restrictions (statesassembly.gov.je)
Detailed below are a number of constraints upon the project that flow from the Proposition:
- Planning Legislation
- Public Parking Legislation
- Motor Home Legislation
- Land ownership permissions
- Necessary permissions required of 'Controlling Bodies' for parking places
In addition to this, in assessing potential sites, consideration has been given to:
- possible nuisance to neighbours
- primary usage requirements and associated parking restrictions
- requirements for other usages (concessions, neighbouring facilities and businesses, turning buses and coaches etc.)
- geometrical restrictions to vehicular access / egress
- environmental sensitivities
Further details of the potential sites are currently exempt from release under Article 35 (Formulation and development of policies) since its release at this stage might generate misinformed debate.
Article 35 is a qualified exemption, and the public interest test is shown that the end of the response.
Under the Road Traffic (Public Parking Places) (Jersey) Order 2006 a 'Controlling Body' is responsible for the administration of a public car parking place and for any restrictions placed upon how it is used. The Controlling Bodies may be States of Jersey Ministers, such as the Minister for Infrastructure or parochial authorities.
Consultation has taken place with the following parties in the planning stages of this project:
- Comité des Connetablés
- tenants responsible for common land with public parking
- the Environment, Regulation and Transport sections from within Infrastructure, Housing and Environment
Before a wider public consultation can take place the Government of Jersey need to determine the viability of using particular site(s) with the 'Controlling Body / Bodies' responsible for administering sites and obtain their permission to proceed in accordance with P33/2019 Part (b) as linked to in question A. The trial scheme was set up to provide the controlling bodies with contextual information around the usage of such a scheme, to allow them to come to an informed decision around the sites under their control.
There are many stakeholders to take into consideration when establishing whether a designated motorhome / campervan area within a parking site is a desirable proposal.
It should be noted that the stakeholders are not limited to persons who wish to stay overnight in a campervan or motorhome, but includes government and non-government bodies, car park and facility users, neighbours, concessionaires within car parks and adjacent businesses, as well as the public at large.
Le Port was chosen as the site to pilot for the project to authorise Motorhomes / Campervans to stay overnight in a public car park. The use of this area was approved by the Constable of St Peter as the Controlling Body for this public car park.
The background to this decision can be viewed on www.comite.je within the minutes of the Comité des Connetablés meeting held on 12 April 2021. It can be accessed using the following link, therefore, is partially exempt under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Comité des Connetables minutes 12 April (comite.je)
A limited number of spaces have initially been made available at one site since this is a proof-of-concept pilot. If it is deemed a success by the Parish, further discussions would be expected to take place in relation to whether this number could be increased and extended to additional sites.
The following statement is a misunderstanding of the legal situation.
'It was a State's decision that the scheme should take place on infrastructure / government land ie all Jersey car parks.'
While all public car parks fall within the Public Car Park Places Legislation which the Minister for Infrastructure is responsible for, it does not necessarily follow that the car parks themselves are under the authority of the Minister.
The unsurfaced beach car parks, such as a Le Port are generally under the administration of the parishes who are the 'Controlling Bodies'.
The Minister for Infrastructure is typically the parking authority for more urban or intensely used asphalt surfaced car parking sites, such as the lay-bys on Victoria Avenue, St Aubin Village Car Park or the town multi-story car parks etc.
The beach side car parks directly controlled by the Minister for Infrastructure were not deemed suitable due to the following:
- intensity of use
- proximity to residential neighbours and businesses, access
- egress arrangements or turning circles
Therefore, it was agreed that the trial would take place at Le Port, a more suitable site and the approval of the Constable of St Peter as the controlling body for the public car park was obtained.
At this point in time the Proposition only requires the involvement of the members of the Comité des Connetablés, the Minister for Infrastructure and the Minister for the Environment.
Once a list of designated sites has been agreed with the above authorities, the Proposition requires that the list of designated sites referred back to the States Assembly for their consideration and agreement or prior to any amendment to the Parking Orders. It should be noted that the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel may wish to review this list before presentation to the States Assembly and make their own recommendations.
As a customary political courtesy, it is expected that early notice of the review's findings in terms of the agreed proposed sites would be communicated to the Proposer of P33/2019, though this is not a requirement of the Proposition.
There is currently no formal campervan/motorhome scheme in place but the Le Port pilot will monitor various aspects regarding the four spaces available.
However, the views of the Comité des Connetablés in relation to the Proposition are set out within the Minutes of the Comité des Connetablés meeting of 12 April 2021 as linked to in response to question D.
A wider consultation will take place with the stakeholders identified in response to question C once a list of potential sites for designation has been agreed.
This may identify any objections or obstacles which may impact the scheme and any statutory requirements associated with the use of any particular site would need to be addressed.
These items will be reported to the States Assembly to inform their deliberations when considering the outcome in relation to the Proposition.
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