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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Foreshore (FOI)

Foreshore (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 01 April 2016.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Could you please provide the following information. The foreshore around the island was gifted to the people of Jersey in mid 2015.


Please confirm that the foreshore was gifted and ratified through the Royal Court at no cost to the people of Jersey from the Crown.


Prior to and whilst in ownership of the crown how many land or building (private, utilities etc.) encroachments on or adjoining to the sea wall have been pursued to the financial benefit of the people of Jersey.


How many foreshore encroachments have been pursued since the gifting of the foreshore to the people of Jersey.


Can you please detail all the encroachments pursued and the settlements made, financial or otherwise.


What has been the defined financial settlement or the method of calculating that encroachment that has been decided by the minister responsible. Pre gifting and currently since.


Can the ministerial department that is responsible for pursuing all encroachments detail that this is being conducted unilaterally to all landowners or targeted just those landowners wishing to sell their properties.


Can the minister detail as to why the Ports of Jersey land has been separated from the remained of the Islands foreshore.


The core of the request asks for detailed information about ‘encroachments’. 

The legal history of the foreshore is long and complex. 

The Les Pas case, in which it was claimed the Fief de la Fosse included ownership of part of the St. Helier foreshore, started in 1989 and was brought to a close by a compromise accepted by the States of Jersey on 24 September 2003. 

The fact that a compromise was necessary to settle the claim after such a lengthy period shows that it is not possible to identify without legal knowledge and substantial effort, a list of cases which might be deemed to be about ‘encroachments’ as used in the request. 

For those wishing to explore further, there is extensive publicly available information on this subject.

To the extent that we are able to answer the request, the information we could supply is already in the public domain and therefore we may refuse it under Article 23 of the Freedom of Information law.

That article requires us to make reasonable efforts to inform the applicant where they may obtain the information. We therefore provide details below of relevant information already publicly available.

Referring to the elements of the request above:


We provide with this response a copy of the Act of Court detailing the terms of the transfer of the foreshore on 12 June 2015. 

This act is registered and publicly available at the Public Registry. 

The transfer was registered in the Public Registry at the nominal charge rate of £5 per page.

Download a copy of the Act of Court (size 183kb)

B to F

All these parts of the request refer to ‘encroachments’. 

The whole history of the law relating to the foreshore was summarised in a two part article in the Jersey and Guernsey Law review written by two advocates who were on the Les Pas Holdings Limited side of the Les Pas case referred to above: this includes in part two a series of case histories relating to the foreshore.

View the first article on the Jersey Law website

Unreported judgment 132 of 1998 (1998/132) is a Court of Appeal judgment which begins (following the JUDGMENT heading):

SOUTHWELL JA: In December 1983, January 1989 and January 1995 the Crown sold to the public of Jersey the foreshore relevant for the purposes of these appeals adjacent to St. Helier.

There follows a background to the Les Pas case which shows a chronology of the development on the foreshore up to the appeal in 1998.

View the unreported judgment

Further useful references may be found by searching the term 'foreshore' on the Jersey Law website.

FOI exemption(s) applied

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.

Justification for exemption

The information we are able to supply is already available publicly. Links to relevant information are provided above.

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