Jersey’s government is forging ahead with controversial plans to redevelop its headquarters in St Helier - despite accusations it has not been transparent.
A proposition to delay the development at the Cyril Le Marquand House site in St Helier was defeated in the States Assembly this afternoon (24 March).
Ministers announced plans to redevelop the site last month, with ambitions to see the project signed off with the developer by May.
However, they were accused of not acting with transparency or allowing enough time for adequate scrutiny.
ITV News understands the project could cost between £90 million and £130 million. Senator Kristina Moore, who lodged the proposition said openness and transparency had been important themes of the past year and the government should “welcome our calls for a further look at this important project.”
Ministers announced an intention to sign contracts with the government-owned Jersey Development Company to develop the site at Broad Street in January.
But just a month later, it announced it had pulled out of that decision and would be looking to sign contracts with private developer Dandara to redevelop the existing headquarters site at Cyril Le Marquand House.
Senator Moore said at that point scrutiny asked for more detail as the report was ‘limited’.
However the Chief Minister said the original developer had changed its brief after it had been agreed and the government had no choice but to switch from the preferred bidder to its reserve.
He added that every month the project was delayed would cost estimated £1 million in tax payers’ money.
Others backing the project said the Assembly was gathering a reputation for dragging its heels on important projects and its property portfolio had too many unused buildings.
Deputy Hugh Raymond said the debate was ‘frustrating’.
“I can’t accept the situation we are in,” he said. “Our property portfolio is a disgrace.”
The Assembly voted against the proposition with 20 votes for and 25 against.