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Ministers Reply To Reform's School Site Suggestion

Ministers have expressed caution over a request to consider the former Play.com warehouse as the location for a new town school.

Reform Jersey has suggested a primary be put on the plot near the Grand Marche in St Helier, which is earmarked for almost 200 homes.

Under current plans, social housing provider Anduim will acquire the play.com site and demolish the warehouse.

Reform wrote to ministers asking it be considered for a new school instead.

The political party, whose deputies represent St Helier Central and St Helier South, said it would enable the former gasworks to be used to extend the Millennium Town Park.

Party leader Deputy Sam Mézec described it as 'the best of both worlds' and said the government should 'get behind it'.

In reply, Ministers have expressed caution over the request.

They say any any work on a new school needs to be 'properly costed and considered within a wider strategic approach to our overall urban environment'.

"We must also support Andium Homes, taking care to avoid detracting from its effective work delivering much needed homes. At this point, the whole of the site is not in public ownership, and only today Andium acquired part of the site to commence the construction of new homes."

The letter, signed by the Chief Minister Kristina Moore, Housing Minister David Warr, Education Minister Inna Gardiner and Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet, says they are committed to delivering 'new modern primary schools that are part of the local communities, and more green space for those who live in St Helier'.

"As the heart of our Island, and home to a third of islanders, we take the responsibility of improving the quality of life of town residents seriously. This new government has moved quickly on these matters, and after delays in the past, we are confident that we can start 2023 with a clear direction on key public sites and better access to quality spaces in St Helier."

The findings of a long-awaited review of the town schools estate was published earlier this month.

It suggested preferred options of creating a two-form entry primary school at Gas Place, moving Rouge Bouillon school to a new site and expanding it to three-form entry, and extending Plat Douet school to three-form entry.

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