Proposed hospitality project will add new amenities to Gorey and return a unique site back to the enjoyment of the public.
Gorey Pier could enjoy a new restaurant, traditional delicatessen and a community cultural hub if plans submitted for 18 Gorey Pier and The Sail Loft are agreed.
The Planning Application, lodged today by Laurraine Falle with assistance from Waddington Architects Jersey, requests permission to refurbish the existing retail store, change the use of existing Chandlery building and retain the existing structural envelope and footprint to accommodate a restaurant.
The Application relates to the Sail Loft shop and an un-used, derelict area to the rear that was once the boat yard. Until the late 1990’s the area was used for the repairing and servicing of local boats. Trading ceased due to a lack of market interest in the local boating industry and the existing warehouse has not been used for employment since 1998. The new restaurant enterprise will provide not only short-term employment for the local construction industry but also long-term employment for the hospitality sector.
Over the years, Gorey has seen the loss of much enjoyed large-scale restaurants with the closure of Jersey Pottery and the Drive in BBQ, which were redeveloped for residential housing. Mrs Falle, who is also the creative entrepreneurial force behind Feast restaurant, says the market demand is higher now than ever. The popular Feast restaurant will continue to operate and be complemented by the new addition.
The new restaurant will be subtly hidden in the green bowl of the old quarry. The terraces will be set back from the pavement so as to be almost invisible from the Pier, they will nonetheless offer remarkable vantage points with views south over the harbour and upwards to the Castle battlements. In the main restaurant, a retractable roof and glass walls will allow sunlight to stream in so the diners can enjoy a natural setting from within the restaurant itself.
A large and open kitchen will be given centre stage so diners can watch the chefs in action and a performance space will offer possibilities for open air theatre, live music and film screenings during the warm summer months. Additionally, small pop-up shops artfully placed around a spacious interior will showcase goods and works produced by local talent.
The restaurant will benefit from views of the landscaped quarry and the imposing castle; this will be the first time in decades that these views will be enjoyed by the public.
As a local resident Mrs Falle is committed to ensuring that the setting of Mont Orgueil is in no way compromised by her regeneration plans. A number of independent supporting reports have been prepared to demonstrate dedication to the natural and historical environment. Reports include a Heritage Assessment prepared by Stuart Fell of MS Planning, a Historical Assessment, and an Ecology Report by Nurture Ecology.
The current building is of low quality mainly composed of corrugated sheets with no reference or visual connection to the surrounding natural context. The new design incorporates the historical significance of the site; old anchors and shipping chains will be salvaged and up-cycled to become part of the fabric of the new building.
Plans also include the restoration of the damaged envelope of the Sail Loft building to its original design. Over the years the building has been insensitively altered and the intention is to restore its original features and create a traditionally styled delicatessen.
Long-term environmental enhancements to the public realm are also top of the agenda. Mrs Falle intends to create a meandering footpath through the site connecting to the existing public footpath and improving access to the Castle. The footpath will provide natural crevices and indigenous grasslands for local wall lizards and other reptiles to seek refuge.
The ‘Percent for Art’ contribution will take the form of new entrance gates designed by local artist, Nicholas Romeril. Early designs present a traditional scene reflecting the historic use of the site when the ship building industry was thriving in Gorey. The materials used will also echo the industrial origins of the site.
Laurraine Falle wishes to retain the architectural integrity of the area and believes this setting will offer opportunities for entertainment, art and provide stimulus to the tourist industry, she says:
‘It will be more than a restaurant, it will be a place to sample local produce, a place to exhibit local crafts, a meeting point for the tourists coming and going from the castle, and a place for the local community and tourists to mingle. Previous owners wanted the land for residential property but met opposition because the local population wanted the land returned for public use, I have listened to the local community and believe that this project is truly a shared vision. We have so much support from the local hoteliers and business owners and I am grateful for how they have embraced our proposed investment. Everyone understands that we are a local family, not developers, and our intention is to create something that will meet market demand but also become part of Gorey’s unique legacy.’
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