The authors of a new report on parking in St Helier have recommended dropping the need for large scale regeneration plans to include public parking, and proposed a new 200-space car park be built in the north of town.
The Parsons Brinckerhoff St Helier Parking Needs Study was jointly commissioned by the Transport and Technical Services Department, and the Department of the Environment to provide updated information for the north of town master plan. The master plan provides detailed guidance to anyone considering making a planning application in a particular area. Requirements for parking in town will be reviewed every two years.
One of the most significant of the study’s sixteen recommendations is to remove the need to provide public parking spaces in the large development sites of Jersey Gas, Le Masuriers, and Jersey Brewery. Instead, it suggests the States negotiate with developers to decide on a sum of money to be paid in lieu of providing public parking.
The Minister for Planning and Environment, Deputy Rob Duhamel, has already accepted this proposal and updated the development brief for the Jersey Gas site in response.
“We recognise that the requirement to provide significant public parking on these sites is not necessarily the best solution in terms of value for money or benefit to the public, and may, in addition, have been a factor in stalling development of the sites. This proposal will provide a significant incentive for construction firms to develop these large and important sites, give a much needed boost to the north of St Helier and promote the regeneration of the area.”
The parking study report also recommends the construction of a new 200 space car park in the north of town, predominantly for long stay, but also with provision for short stay to meet local need, and supports the provision of 200 short-stay spaces in the redevelopment of Ann Court.
If parking is provided at Anne Court, the report’s authors recommend the redevelopment of Minden Place multi storey car park, possibly as a premium car park for shoppers, or for development as housing.
The Minister for Transport and Technical Services, Deputy Kevin Lewis said:
“This is a very useful study. It shows that there is currently spare capacity both for shoppers and commuters in the general town area, but there is a shortage of public parking in the north of town. The recommendations seek to address this.”
Other recommendations touch on how the Island’s sustainable transport policy objectives might be funded and delivered and include:
• Setting up a new fund (an ‘enabling’ fund) in addition to the existing Car Park Trading Fund to help pay for wider sustainable transport policy objectives.
• Developing a business and implementation plan for the sustainable transport policy.
• Reviewing Jersey’s parking tariff and collection methods. The report says it is unusual to have a single tariff of parking. They say there’s evidence that motorists will trade convenience for price; some users would welcome paying a lower parking tariff and walking further; others will be prepared to pay more to save time.
• Urgently considering a development levy – commonly used in the UK – to fund community infrastructure, or services.