The Planning Minister has deferred an application to build a new chalet at Ollivier’s Farm on Ouaisné hill. Deputy Rob Duhamel wants to consider some legal issues and visit the site.
The applicant, who is also the landowner of the whole Ollivier’s Farm site, wants to demolish an existing caravan (Oceania) on one of the small derelict sites. He applied unsuccessfully in the past to demolish all the buildings on the site and build eight new cottages. He’s currently appealing that refusal in the Royal Court.
The site is in the Coastal National Park zone (created in 2011) where no new development is allowed unless there are exceptional reasons.
The department received more than 200 comments on the plans. Among concerns raised were:
- New residential development will destroy the unique nature of the site.
- The Coastal National Park is protected from development.
- Flora and fauna could be harmed by the proposed site clearance and works.
- Approval could set a precedent making it difficult to resist similar re-development schemes in the future.
- Inappropriate form and design of development.
Speaking after hearing the applicant’s argument, Planning Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel said that given the sensitivity of the application and the potential for it to set a precedent for development on the site, he would defer it for further consideration.
Deferral for development application in St Clement
The Minister also agreed to delay an application to demolish storage sheds and build nine new homes on land at Rue de Samarés, St Clement.
The application for L’Industrie dates back to 2011. The Planning Applications Panel previously approved the plans, but the Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel, called in the application to consider himself.
The site has been used as a commercial store. The department has a policy of trying to keep land currently used for enterprise in use to support the economy.
Over a year ago, the Minister had asked for more information about the application. He asked the applicant to explore possible alternative employment uses for the land if the current business wasn’t sustainable as a commercial storage operation. He also asked the applicant to justify the loss of employment land, for housing. Part of the site also falls within the Green Zone where there’s a policy against development of any kind.
Today the applicant’s representative asked the Minister to delay consideration of the application so they could have more time to provide the information requested. He said there had been significant delay in marketing the site and providing information in part because the owner lived in Australia.
Heritage assets case delayed
An application to demolish the fronts of buildings on French Lane has been deferred for two months.
Trump Holdings applied to build a new three storey shop and a one bedroom flat on the site at 12-18 Hilgrove Street and 8-12 Halkett Street.
The Planning Department argued the application would result in a loss of part of the town’s heritage which would go against Island Plan policies. There would be very little gain from knocking down the facades of 12 and 14 Hilgrove Street, except perhaps making it easier to build the proposed shop planned for the site.
The site has an extensive planning history. In the accompanying report, the department argues that the applicant has not shown the exceptional circumstances that would justify losing two heritage assets and officers expressed concern about the impact on the character of the street if the buildings were completely replaced by a large new building.
The Planning Minister deferred a decision on plans for the demolition of a shed in Grouville to build three new homes in a farmstead style. Deputy Duhamel wants more time to consider the application.
In its report, the Planning Department pointed to its policy of trying to keep land used for enterprise in use to support the economy. But the applicant argued that there was a lack of interest from tenants, and that refurbishing or rebuilding the shed was not commercially viable.
Ultimately, the Minister considered that the case rested on a fine balance of the environmental gains which would result from the development, set against the impact of the existing building. It was this careful balance, on a Green Zone site, which required further consideration.
The current application was for a slightly smaller development than earlier plans for L’Avenir, La Vieille Rue, Grouville.