An application to demolish buildings on French Lane has been approved by Jersey’s Planning Minister subject to conditions which include investment in the surrounding area and quality control over the materials used.
At yesterday’s Ministerial planning meeting, Deputy Rob Duhamel said he was minded to approve an application by Trump Holdings to build a new three-storey shop and a one bedroom flat on the site of 12-18 Hilgrove Street and 8-12 Halkett Street.
However, he said approval was subject to further assurance about the details and quality of the materials to be used in the whole development, and to a planning obligation agreement which required the applicant to work with the Parish of St Helier to contribute to townscape improvements.
The site has an extensive planning history. An accompanying departmental report had expressed concern about the potential loss of part of the town’s heritage but the Minister said at yesterday’s meeting that the decision was complex and had to take account of the possible benefits of investment in the area:
“I’ve considered and appreciate the argument concerning the loss of heritage assets, but in this particular case, what remained of the original frabric of the listed buildings was a fragment. I wanted to balance that against the improvements that we could achieve for the town centre by both a new retail development and investment in the townscape.”
At the same meeting, the Minister also approved a decision to demolish a St Aubin hotel and replace with seven homes.
The Hotel La Tour, on La Rue de Crocquet (also known as St Aubin’s High Street), has been the subject of three planning applications. This revised application asked for an increase in the the number of homes for the site from five to seven, but without increasing the overall size of the development.
The Minister said he was pleased that communications between the department and representatives of the area had been handled well; people had been kept well informed and the planning process for this application had been consultative, co-operative and good-natured.
An application for the demolition of 5-6 Esplanade was also approved at yesterday’s Ministerial planning meeting. The existing building will be replaced with a six-storey office development with parking. The design follows the recommendations of the Jersey Architecture Commission.