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Water's Edge Hotel Redevelopment Plans Unveiled

Plans to redevelop the old Water's Edge Hotel at Bouley Bay have been submitted.

If approved, a new house with landscaped gardens, a re-built dive centre and a new restaurant will be created - intended to replace the Black Dog.

The Trinity hotel has laid empty for the last five years.

The proposed redevelopment, designed by Jersey architectural firm MS Planning, will see around 70% of the site being returned to nature.

Granite terraces are being used to build up the site, creating a large private garden above the 1,100sqft Dive Centre and 1,200sqft restaurant on the slipway.

Planning Consultant, Michael Stein, explained the plans for the site:

"It's going to be transformational in terms of what you will see down at the bay. At the moment you'll be familiar with the hotel which hasn't been operating for over five years now, and it's looking pretty tired and disheveled.

"We've got an applicant who is keen to come in and significantly improve what's there by knocking it down and replacing it with a single dwelling, but also keeping the café - as a replacement for the Black Dog which used to be down there - and also the Dive Centre which has provided an important service from Bouley Bay, and can only really operate from Bouley Bay.

"Both those facilities will remain, and be improved compared to what's there at the moment."

The plans were recently shown off to stakeholders, which Mr Stein said received a mostly positive response.

25 apartments had been planned for the Water's Edge Hotel site, but the new designs were drawn up after the landowners were contacted by someone who expressed an interest in living there.

Plans were previously approved for 25 self-catering apartments on the site, which could still be built if the latest proposals aren't approved.

Mr Stein told Channel 103 that the applicant and designers have taken care to make sure the plans comply with the government's planning policies.

He says they feel it's a 'better result' for Bouley Bay than the previous application:

"We're fortunate in that we've got an 'enlightened' applicant - we told him the site is in the coastal national park so most of the area will have to be landscaped, and that's what we'll have. 69% of the site will be landscaped.

"The other significant thing is there is an extant planning permit on the site for 25 self-catering units with only 27 parking spaces. We feel that isn't really the right result for Bouley Bay and could stop people from using and enjoying the bay because of the parking problems that would result.

"There would be a lot of excavation work with that development, requiring removal from the site, a lot of HGVs transporting it to La Collette.

"On the other hand, this scheme is highly landscaped so a lot of ground will be retained, so instead of taking it off-site, it will be used to plant a significant amount of trees and shrubs to give the site a natural appearance compared to the stark white buildings you see there now."

The neighbouring chalets will be kept, with a new entrance to the residential property.

The beach itself, nearby woodland and adjacent kiosk, Mad Mary's, aren't included in the proposals for the Water's Edge site.

Mr Stein says the public footpath between Bouley Bay and Rozel will be kept - even though it passes through the land occupied by the hotel:

"Presently, [the cliffpath] has no legal standing as it were. The owner could stop the public from using that footpath - but he has absolutely no interest in doing that.

"He's actually offering to give it legitimate 'public access' status so that moving forward that access will be guaranteed for years to come, whereas at the moment it isn't."

The granite and greenery in the design aims to blend in with the surrounding cliffs and nearby Fort Leicester and L'Etacquerel Fort

He added that the designers have been trying to come up with plans more sympathetic with the surrounding area:

"At the moment, as you come into the bay you're confronted by the [hotel] building hard up to the boundary and rising up to four or five storeys.

"The proposal is to move the building back into the site, so as you approach Bouley Bay, it will open up views of the sea."

"A lot of the development will be behind granite terraced walls. We're trying to pick up from the cues from Fort Leicester and L'Etacquerel Fort so the new build melds in with the landscape."

The planning process is underway, and Mr Stein hopes a decision will be made by the end of the year.

He says the building work itself is likely to take between 18 months and two years to complete, once planning permission is approved.

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