18 September 2015
A Transport and Technical Services (TTS) proposal to create a two-mile pedestrian and cycle path through St Peter’s Valley has been agreed by the Planning Applications Committee.
The path will start by Tesson Mill and finish at Le Dimerie, near the former Fantastic Tropical Gardens. Some existing paths will be used and improved and new paths created through wet meadow and woodland areas with connections to existing bus stops and other woodland paths on route.
The application (P/2015/0579) is in line with Island Plan policy to improve pedestrian and cycle infrastructure, and road safety, to provide better access to public transport and reduce dependence on the private car. A high number of accidents happen on the valley road (it has second worst accident record for rural roads in Jersey).
TTS is aiming for a 50 per cent increase in cycle trips made to and from St Helier and a 50 per cent increase in the number of bus trips to and from the valley.
The committee considered concerns that the path plans will harm the natural environment of the area and go against policies which target the protection of Jersey’s countryside, but members decided that the benefits of the path were significant enough to make an exception in this case.
A seven-year programme of meadow management and tree replanting schemes will be carried out in the areas affected by the proposal.
Egypt Farm approved
The committee also agreed an application (P/2015/0978) to rebuild the ruins of a farm at La Rue d'Egypte demolished by German forces during the war.
The owners applied to build a three-bedroom home and outbuilding on a long-abandoned and ruined farm complex in what is described as a highly scenic part of rural Trinity.
The farm, which has been in the Rice family since 1936, is understood to have been taken over by German forces during the occupation. It’s thought the buildings were partially demolished to use as a training ground for the troops in street and house-to-house fighting.
The Planning Applications Committee refused an application (P/2015/0999) to turn agricultural workers accommodation and two fields overlooking St Ouen’s bay into a campsite for 23 caravans, motor homes or tents.
The site is on La Rue du Val de la Mare du Sud in St Peter in the coastal national park where development is allowed only for exceptional reasons and where the landscape character is unharmed.
The plans were support by the Economic Development Department, but other authorities expressed concerns about traffic. There were 30 letters of objection and 52 letters of support for the application.
The Planning department supports the principle of a new campsite in Jersey to provide new accommodation for the tourism industry, but a report on the application said the campsite would have a negative impact on the natural beauty of the area. A further primary concern of committee members was that the site is in the Airport Public Safety Zone, where occupancy should be minimised, not increased.
Dandara’s plans to build 179 homes on the site of the Metropole Hotel in Roseville Street were deferred by the Planning Applications Committee. The committee wanted more information on the proposed parking allocation for visitors and the size of units.
Permission was given for a 153-home development of the site in 2011. The new proposal (P/2015/0065) is to build 57 one-bedroom, 118 two-bedroom and four three-bedroom homes, with basement parking for 203 cars.
The Planning department recommended approval for the plans, which are in line with the States strategic objectives of securing high density and high quality accommodation.
Data centre in St Lawrence
An application (PP/2015/1020) to build a data centre on the site of the Fencing Centre in St Lawrence was agreed by the Planning Applications Committee. The plans involve knocking down the existing buildings, and replacing them with two detached bulk data storage buildings, each measuring 28 metres by 27 metres and to a maximum height of eight metres.
The proposed development is in the Green Zone. A Planning department report said the proposed development had to be judged on the basis of that policy. But it appreciated the potential strategic benefit to new and existing businesses and diversification of the economy. The plans also improve the landscape by removing existing buildings and returning 60 per cent of the site to agriculture.
The planning application is an outline application and the detailed design and appearance will be considered at a later stage.