10 July 2018
The Minister for Infrastructure, and the owners of land at Les Quennevais that is the subject of compulsory purchase, would like to clarify the current position with the land purchase.
At a meeting on Friday the Minister, his team, and Mr and Mrs Carrel agreed to make a joint statement to correct misinformation published earlier in the year. They are keen to re-establish business-like relations between the States of Jersey and Mr and Mrs Carrel.
Deputy Kevin Lewis said “Politicians do not control the editorial direction taken by media organisations. However, I would like to apologise for the distress caused to Mr and Mrs Carrel by the media coverage of this case. It damaged goodwill and led to a halt in negotiations. I hope the new Ministerial team can resolve this matter in a spirit of cooperation, hopefully without the additional public expense of concluding a compulsory purchase.”
The States of Jersey Education Department issued a press release on 21st March, 2018, entitled “Compulsory Purchase of land proposed for new secondary school”. That document contained quotations from the then Infrastructure Minister and Assistant Education Minister, who indicated that there was an agreement over the sale price for fields owned by Mr and Mrs Carrel. At that stage, outline heads of terms between the parties were in place.
The media subsequently reported that Mr and Mrs Carrel had demanded £4 million for the sale of his fields, and that Mr Carrel had asked for use of the playing fields to cease at 9.30pm every night. The Minister wishes to make clear that Mr Carrel had not demanded £4 million, and that while a request was made to limit activity on the playing fields after 9.30pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays, this was not simply for the benefit of Mr Carrel but for all the nearby residents.
As the new Minister, Deputy Kevin Lewis hopes to conclude negotiations amicably and to progress the compulsory purchase route to its conclusion only where this is not possible.