Gary Burgess: Ten things you never knew about Jersey’s new Island Plan

It’s effectively the rule book on what can and can’t be built where and, effectively, what Jersey will look like over the next four years. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Have you read all 399 pages of Jersey’s new Island Plan.

Unless you’re slightly abnormal like me, I’m guessing the answer is “no”.

So what is it and why does it matter?

It’s effectively the rule book on what can and can’t be built where and, effectively, what Jersey will look like over the next four years.

My main report on the plan majors on Jersey’s housing crisis as the plan will allow for 1,500 affordable homes to be built by 2025.

But there’s a tonne more in it, too.

Here are ten other takeaways from my reading of it, to either save you the bother, or to whet your appetite to give it a go:

1. It talks about the possibility of land reclamation around Havre des Pas and St Aubin’s bay to protect the area from rising sea levels due to climate change.

2. There’s a new proposed 3% levy on all developments that will go into a Sustainable Communities Fund to pay for community infrastructure in town which could include community buildings, open spaces, tree planting and so on.

3. The extension of the Coastal National Park could include marine areas to promote biodiversity, and an assumption of no new development within the park with only the odd exception.

4. There’s a new rule that community must be consulted on any housing developments of 10 dwellings or more in rural areas.

5. A new 1% levy on all larger development could be used for public art to boost “local distinctiveness and cultural identity”.

6. It includes proposals for an offshore wind farm, a tidal lagoon, and a tidal stream turbine. The plan effectively welcomes anybody wanted to put in plans for exploratory work.

7. All plans for development of ‘Our Hospital’ at Overdale “will be afforded the highest level of priority”

8. Warwick Farm will be redeveloped as St Helier Country Park under the proposals put forward in the Island Plan.

9. The development of land for allotments is to be supported.

10. If you live in an old building, it determines what kind of windows you need to fit if you’re planning to replace your existing ones.

The plan for the plan is that you now have twelve weeks to have your say on it before an independent inspector gives it the once over. The final version of the plan will then be debated by politicians in March next year, with a view to it then coming into force to cover 2022 to 2025.

It’s a whopping read, ideal if you’re after a bedtime tome to help you nod off. But it’s also massively important as it, effectively, paints a picture of what Jersey will look like for generations to come.

If you’ve got a view, shouting on social media will NOT make a difference, but responding to the official consultation here will.

Happy reading!