The Planning and Environment Minister has turned down an application to build 25 homes on the De La Mare florist and nurseries glasshouse site in Grouville.
De La Mare Nurseries has been trying to get permission to develop its site for a number of years. It appealed an earlier refusal in the Royal Court. The Court ruled that the Minister had not acted reasonably, quashed his decision, and sent the application back to the Minister for further consideration
Because of planning delays in processing the application, the Court had ruled that the plans should be considered under both the current Island Plan, and an older version.
At the Ministerial planning meeting last week (Friday 8 March), the Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said the scheme was unacceptable under either Island Plan.
He referred to current planning policy which states that glasshouses should be kept in the industry, and advertised for sale or rent. They can only be considered for non-agricultural purposes in exceptional circumstances and even then, there must be a demonstrable environmental improvement of the site. It was also argued that building homes on the site would also mean losing a commercial site – which runs against the States Protection of employment land policy.
A further reason for refusing the application again, according to the Minister, was that the site is in the Green Zone, where there is a presumption against all forms of development for whatever purpose. And the applicants had not given enough information on traffic, drainage or whether the development would affect the nearby ecological SSI.
Jersey Development Company refused JCG permit extension
Jersey Property Holdings (JPH) has been refused permission to extend an old planning consent for the Jersey College for Girls development.
JPH had permission granted in 2006 to redevelop part of the school and land to build 32 one-bedroom apartments, 17 two bedroom apartments and nine three-bedroom houses.
The Minister refused the application to extend the recently lapsed five year permit by a further three years because the Island Plan has changed since the application was approved and the States now needs the site for social housing.
Note: A new planning application for the redevelopment of the site for 183 residential units (of which 40 would be Category A) was received by the Planning Department at the end of last week.
Deferral of 4 houses in Grouville
An application to build four three-bedroom houses on a site in Grouville was deferred by the Planning and Environment Minister.
Planners argued that the owner failed to make a case to support redevelopment of the La Vieille Rue site for housing. The Minister indicated that plans may be considered more favourably if the applicant can clearly demonstrate why it is not financially viable to keep the site in commercial use, or if plans for the site are reduced in size.
The site is currently categorised as an employment site and is occupied by an agricultural shed and granite outbuilding.
Grower gets housing go ahead but must reinvest in farming
Approval was given for a former tomato grower to demolish his glasshouses and boiler house and build a three–bedroom home on a site at Boulivot, Grouville, on condition the owner reinvests the money generated into his other farming businesses.
Funds generated by the sale of the land for development will be used to help reduce financial debt incurred during the collapse of the tomato growing industry in 2008 and be put towards the refurbishment of better quality glasshouses at his other site at Les Tours Farm, St. Clement.
After a site visit to both the glasshouse site and Les Tours Farm, the Minister for Planning and Environment allowed an exception to planning policy. Deputy Rob Duhamel agreed the existing glasshouses were old and dangerous and that the new building would make an environmental and visual improvement to the site.