23 October 2020
A report which sets out the vision, objective and planning assumptions for the new Island Plan has been published.
The report is being released as part of the evidence that will be used to shape new planning policies and plan for the Island’s needs up to 2024, ahead of a twelve-week public consultation on the draft Island Plan which is scheduled for early next year.
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young, said: “The Island Plan is vital to make provision for the needs of the community and the protection of our environment and unique Island character and identity, whilst ensuring a sustainable economy.
“Meeting our deficit in housing needs will require difficult choices to be taken. I am publishing the preferred strategy now because I am committed to transparency in setting out the new plan, and I need Islanders to have confidence in the process, and to understand the objectives and assumptions upon which the new Island Plan is being developed.”
The preferred strategy sets out a reasoned basis for the development of the new Island Plan in these uncertain times. The short-term bridging Island Plan has a three-year plan period – instead of the usual ten years – and is a response to the huge uncertainty about the impact that Brexit, COVID-19, and migration trends will have on the Island. The preferred strategy sets out a planning assumption, and the justification for it, that will be used to meet, amongst other things, the need for homes up to 2024.
The report sets out that:
- government analysis currently suggests that inward migration to Jersey in the next five years will be around half the level seen in the last five years;
- provision should be made for around 3,750 homes, up to 2024;
- this level of provision includes almost 1,000 extra homes to respond to the current housing shortfall that is currently driving up prices and impacting living standards;
- that family homes are needed; and
- that most development should be accommodated in town and other parts of the island that are already developed; but to meet the need for homes, and to help support parish communities, some greenfield land will need to be released for development.
Deputy Young said: “These figures around migration and population over this short-term plan period are not Government targets, nor are they aspirations – they are our best-informed judgement of Jersey’s likely direction over the next few years.
“We are living in a time of uncertainty. We cannot be sure what the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 will be and that is why we’re bringing forward a shorter bridging Island Plan now, rather than waiting even longer to develop a long-term Island Plan.
“But we do need to address the issues and challenges that we know about, which is why the Island Plan needs to be reviewed. This means we will improve our countryside and heritage protection regimes, deliver a new vision and plan for St Helier, and make a start in developing the affordable family homes that our community needs.”