29 June 2017
A Jersey farmer's plans to develop a home and tourist accommodation for a farm-stay business on Green Zone land in St Lawrence were today approved by the Planning Committee.
The application (PP/2017/0264) concerns a site of approximately 50 vergees of land on La Rue de la Hauteur. It is currently a farm, mainly producing eggs for local sale.
The farmer applied to build a split level two/three and a half storey building as a home for himself and his family, a two-floor annexe to provide farm stay accommodation, a basement for farm storage, and a four-car garage.
The Planning department report considered by the Planning Committee concluded that the development wasn't a justified exception to Island Plan policy which precludes building in the Green Zone. It also noted that the size, location and design of the proposed development would have a negative impact on the surrounding landscape, and result in the loss of agricultural land.
The application received seven letters of objection. Concerns raised included the possibility that if the farm-stay business didn't work, the accommodation would revert to housing; the application sets a precedent for development in the Green Zone, and the possible increase in traffic and noise.
There was also considerable support for the application, which referred to an exciting and innovative business connecting agriculture and tourism, and also for one of the very few remaining young Jersey farmers to invest in his business to support the island's rural economy.
The Planning Committee said that the application presented enormous difficultly in balancing the need to support the rural economy whilst at the same time protecting the countryside. On balance the committee approved the application.