02 August 2010
Jersey’s Chief Minister has endorsed the Planning and Environment Minister’s decision to issue an outline planning consent for the Esplanade Quarter.
In 2008, the States Assembly supported the Esplanade Quarter Masterplan - the development of an area that will provide a balanced mix of offices, homes and community facilities in St Helier. Under the plans, the area would link the Esplanade to the Waterfront development.
The outline planning consent agrees the principles for the development of the land which comprises the Esplanade Quarter. It is not a development agreement and the decision on who will develop the area is still to be made.
Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur said “This is a positive step towards delivering a much needed business and community area which has been strongly endorsed by the States. A high quality development on this reclaimed land will help to relieve pressure on our valuable countryside and preserve our natural environment.
“Jersey relies on a thriving economy fuelled by the Finance Industry and if we are to maintain and grow our economy, then a modern business centre is a vital component in our offering. In order to keep taxes as low as possible while providing good quality public services for the island, we need a sound and secure financial services sector. The Planning Minister’s decision is an important step to securing that future.”
The Esplanade Quarter land is under the control of the Waterfront Enterprise Board but its ultimate ownership rests with the States of Jersey. As a result, the Treasury Minister has agreed an outline Planning Obligation Agreement (POA) to ensure that any development meets the standards required by the Planning Minister and that the Esplanade Quarter development is delivered.
Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, said “As Treasury Minister, I have ultimate responsibility, on behalf of the States, for this land and the financial viability of the scheme and as such I have agreed a Planning Obligation Agreement which safeguards the public interest.
“In developing the Planning Obligation Agreement I have insisted on additional clauses being added so that as Treasury Minister I have the final sign off on any development. These include the requirement for all necessary financial guarantees in the form of bonds and securities etc from the developer to ensure the public is not put at any risk from the developments. The Waterfront Enterprise Board must agree any deal with me, and I guarantee to protect the public interest and ensure that any risk is minimised.”