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'Sad Day' As £120m Broad Street Revival Vetoed

Les Sablons CGI model

Developers have called it a 'sad day' for St Helier and Jersey as a whole as plans for flats and a hotel on Broad Street are rejected.

The £120 million housing development, which included nearly 240 apartments and a 103-room hotel, had gone to an independent planning inspector, who had recommended the government approve the proposals when it went to appeal.

Local developers Le Masurier were behind the plans, known as Les Sablons, Managing Director Brian McCarthy says disappointment is an 'understatement'.

"Le Masurier’s £120 million investment would have contributed to the island's chronic housing shortfall on a town centre brownfield site, thereby protecting our precious countryside.

"It would have delivered 150 full-time jobs, boosted tourism with a brand-new aparthotel through Staycity, with whom we had agreed terms subject to planning consent, and created a publicly accessible courtyard garden linking King Street to the bus station via a safe pedestrian route.

"All of this would have been at no cost to the taxpayer."

Aerial CGI model of proposed Les Sablons development

In her report, Assistant Minister for the Environment Deputy Hillary Jeune outlined why she had rejected the plans again.

"The height of the proposed development along the Commercial Street frontage would significantly exceed the four, or exceptionally four and a half, storey height range guidance for the town centre character area.

"The significant scale and height of the proposed development along the length of the Commercial Street frontage would be overbearing and oppressive and of detriment to the amenity and character of the street."

In May, a former chief planner for the Scottish Government released a scathing report following a review into Jersey's planning department, calling it 'seriously dysfunctional'.

Mr McCarthy says he believes the planning system is 'fundamentally broken' and that the review was 'too little, too late'.

"It is imperative that our planning system considers our island’s declared needs, and gives fair consideration to proposals that are put forward, which will go a long way to resolving the challenges the island faces on housing, tourism, and inward investment in St Helier.

"In addition, the construction industry is under immense pressure at a very difficult time and decisions like this do nothing to support our economy."

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