09 January 2018
The Minister for the Environment has refused the planning application (P/2017/0990) for a new hospital for Jersey.
Last week independent planning inspector Philip Staddon submitted his report and recommendations on the new hospital plans to the Minister, Deputy Steve Luce. These were based on a week-long public inquiry held in November last year.
In his report on the public inquiry, the inspector recommends that the Minister refuses planning permission for the application, based on ‘serious planning objections’ that weigh against it in three broad areas:
- the serious negative impacts the hospital development would have on the St Helier townscape and the visual amenities of the area
- the detrimental impact on numerous protected heritage assets
- harm to the amenities of neighbouring residential properties.
He said the new hospital building would be ‘grossly out of scale… an over dominant, obtrusive and alien structure’. The inspector added that the site area for the new building is ‘far too small’ for the floor space proposed, and described the design as ‘fundamentally unacceptable’. He said ‘these are not measures that can be finessed away by clever design’ at a later stage.
Following the recommendations of the independent planning inspector, Deputy Steve Luce considered the application in depth, reviewed the proposal set against Jersey’s existing legal and planning framework, and visited the hospital site.
Announcing his decision today (9 January 2018), he said ‘The inspector is clear – this design, as it stands, would harm the St Helier townscape and our listed buildings and have a serious impact on the homes of people living around the new building. I have reluctantly reached the conclusion that I have to accept the inspector’s recommendation and turn down this application.
‘This has been a very difficult decision. I’m conscious that Jersey needs this new hospital, and that an enormous amount of work has gone into this application. Looking to the future, the inspector offers support for the view that this is a suitable site for a new hospital – but not with these particular constraints and scope.’
The application is to demolish the Stafford Hotel, Revere Hotel, 33-40 and 44 Kensington Place, including Sutherland Court, and parts of the General Hospital and to build a new hospital with landscaping, highways and infrastructure works, including the addition of two half-decks of parking to Patriotic Street carpark.
The application for a new hospital was submitted to the department in July 2017. The Minister for the Environment called a public inquiry to examine the plans for such a significant piece of public infrastructure.
The public inquiry into the planning application P/2017/0990 for a new hospital ran from 6 November 2017 for a week. The inquiry provided a structured opportunity to explore the planning issues in depth.
By law, the Department for the Environment has to follow a set planning process to ensure it provides a fair and consistent service to Jersey. This process includes considering all planning applications, whether they come from individuals, companies, or other States departments, in the same fair and consistent way, considering all the relevant issues and taking account of the revised Island Plan 2011, which is the framework for all planning decisions in Jersey.