28 November 2012
The following response has been issued on behalf of the Minister for Planning and Environment and the Department of the Environment to the Le Masurier ‘Parkside village’ media release issued 28 November 2012:
"Given our clear support for the development of this site and regeneration of this area of St Helier we are very disappointed and surprised that Le Masurier have decided to abandon their proposals to develop their Bath Street site.
"We have positively engaged with representatives of Le Masurier at the highest level to form a brief for this site that enables development, improves the area for public use and provides significant value to the developer.
"It is important to remember that the Planning Department has both an enabling and regulatory function. Its role is to ensure that development is suitable for the island and planners are always faced with the challenge of balancing economic and social pressures with protecting our natural, historic and built environment.
"We have worked hard with Le Masurier to develop a brief that both enables development and meets the needs of the States approved Island Plan and North of St Helier Masterplan. As part of the consultation process for this site, we received a number of representations from the wider community and concerns were raised. These have helped inform the development brief that has now been agreed by the Minister.
"We have offered to review this updated brief with Le Masurier and would welcome the opportunity to discuss their concerns in more detail. We believe the brief offers an excellent opportunity for this area of town to be developed and see no reason why a planning application for this site cannot be progressed.
"While Le Masurier have chosen to blame their decision on the planning process, other factors such as market confidence, demand and financing opportunities, could well have contributed to their decision."