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  1. ITV Report

Jersey's Chief Minister told 'apologise to Queen' in land dispute

Foreshore is the land that sits between the low and high tide marks Credit: ITV Channel TV

It is five years since ownership of the island's foreshore - the land that sits between the low and high tide marks - was transferred from the Crown to the Government.

Since then, a number of homeowners whose properties either partially or fully sit on the foreshore have faced fines, with one telling ITV News it has destroyed his life.

Environmental campaigner Dave Cabeldu MBE, from SOS Jersey, says now is the time for the Chief Minister to declare an amnesty to avoid future fines and for a formal apology to be made to the monarch.

Dave Cabeldu speaks to ITV News Credit: ITV Channel TV

I would like him to send an apology to the Crown to say look we've made a mistake, it won't happen again. Because I'd hate it to get back to Her Majesty and for her to be embarrassed, it would be a dreadful thing to do. I don't think Her Majesty would have gifted it if she thought it would cause upset and I believe one resident had a mental breakdown and he was very severely affected.

– Dave Cabeldu MBE, SOS Jersey

Alan Luce faced a bill of more than £30,000 for his property's encroachment. He has since moved to Spain saying he can no longer bear to live in his island home.

Alan Luce speaks to ITV News Credit: ITV Channel TV

It's tantamount to threat. It's the worst possible time of my life. When you're selling a house and you're watching it freefall in value because it has this impact, it's just absolutely destroying.

– Alan Luce

Julian Mallison paid £25,000. His property's steps and balcony encroached the foreshore.

Julian Mallison speaks to ITV News Credit: ITV Channel TV

I'm a quantity surveyor, I've dealt with hundreds of sales over my career. I've never felt like I've been shafted before and I wouldn't expect that from States of Jersey. Logically you'd have thought that having been granted ownership of the land in 2015, anything before that we'd let it be as it has been for hundreds of years.

– Julian Mallison

ITV News understands officials are currently drawing up a formal map of where the foreshore lies, though there is a question of whether land that would have been underwater prior to reclamation or the construction of sea walls should still be considered foreshore. If so, hundreds of homes could be in breach.

The government was severely criticised for the way it handled the cases of Mr Luce and Mr Mallison, and subsequently created a policy which means they can turn a blind eye to minor encroachments if they want to, but in other cases they can demand a problem property is taken down.

A wider review of the whole situation is expected early in 2020.

The government has been approached to respond to calls for an amnesty and an apology to the Queen.

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