19 February 2016
Jersey’s Planning Applications Committee has turned down a proposal to redevelop a large commercial site near the Millennium Town Park.
Castle Properties (Jersey) Limited applied for outline planning permission (PP/2015/1538) for 169 new homes, four commercial units, and a community facility on the former Play.com warehouse, next to Grand Marché.
The development proposals included public pedestrian access through the site, a ground floor carpark, a roof terrace and four apartment blocks, the tallest of which would be five floors high. A new terrace of low-rise townhouses and the retention of the historic gable end of Archway House (the last remaining 19th century industrial building on the site) were also part of the plans.
The Planning Applications Committee considered opposition from nearby residents (there were 28 objections), the supporting arguments of the developer and a Planning Department report which recommended support for the development on the basis of its careful design to reduce impact on neighbouring residents, and to provide a significant number of new residential units in central St Helier – in line with the core principles of the Island Plan.
However, the Committee expressed concern about the harm to neighbourhood amenities, the scale of the proposed development, and the possible impact on the setting of listed buildings and the character of the area.
Gorey café plans get go ahead
An application (P/2015/1797) to change the layout of a café on Le Mont de Gouray, near Gorey Pier, was approved by the committee. The plans for minor changes to Café de Gouray were put before the Planning Applications Committee because they attracted 12 objections. Two submissions supported the plans.
The owners applied to change the indoor and outdoor seating area, replace the windows and doors, and incorporate disabled / pushchair access, and a separate staff entrance.
A Planning Department report on the application supported the changes on the grounds that they would improve the appearance of the café and are in line with the designation of Gorey Pier as a ‘Tourist Destination’ where ‘extra vibrancy is encouraged’.
Commercial garage rebuild approved
An application to rebuild a commercial garage in St John (P/2015/1684) was agreed by the Planning Applications Committee. Seaton Garage on Ruette de la Carrière in St John was badly damaged by fire in January 2015. Much of the property was destroyed and the business has been working at an alternative location.
The proposal is to rebuild the premises so the garage can return there and continue its business. The site is in the green zone where no new development is allowed without considerable justification, but the Island Plan does allow the redevelopment of existing employment sites for the same use.
Many local residents object to the plans. They are concerned that Ruette de la Carrière, a green lane, gets congested with cars and they don’t want to see the garage return to the site.
The Planning Department report, which supported the application, took account of residents’ comments but also acknowledged that the garage is an established and lawful use of the site. The report also points out that the body shop and spray oven will not return to the site and that the owners are changing the layout of the business to avoid the need for vehicles to be parked in the road.