Jersey Minister eyes up more land for multi-site hospital

Infrastructure Minister Deputy Tom Binet said that the government was "now looking at properties at either end of Kensington Place to see if we can get a larger footprint". Credit: ITV Channel

Jersey's Infrastructure Minister is looking to acquire more land on Kensington Place in St Helier to make room for the government's proposed new multi-site hospital.

Deputy Tom Binet told the Future Hospital Review Panel that the government is "now looking at properties at either end to see if we can get a larger footprint [for the hospital]."

This is likely to include empty shops at the Cheapside end of the street and potentially restaurants on the other side, including Aromas and Little Italy.

Luis Teixeira, who runs the nearby Casa Mia restaurant, said the area was earmarked for a new hospital several years ago before States members changed their minds.

He is now looking to sell of his own volition as he "has had enough" of the back and forth and feels the hospitality industry has "no future".

"People are uncertain and don't know what to do," Mr Teixeira said.

"All of us, all of the restaurateurs don't know what's going on. I have had enough of this and as soon as I sell the building I am out of here."

  • "I've had enough" - Casa Mia restaurant owner Luis Teixeira is frustrated over the uncertainty

Jersey's government has already committed to buying the now-cleared site of the former Stafford and Revere hotels on Kensington Place for £16 million but is likely to need more land to provide a facility large enough to meet the needs of an ageing population.

Abdul Samad has owned Café Spice on Kensington Place for more than 20 years and says the street has become a close-knit community of restaurateurs who all look out for each other.

"We help each other out if we're short of anything," he explained.

"A lot of the restaurants are family-run. Little Italy has been here for more than 50 years, Aromas opened around 20 years ago and Casa Mia has been here for 25 years or so.

It remains unclear exactly how the restaurants on Kensington Place would be affected. Credit: ITV Channel

"My thoughts are simple - we need a hospital, hopefully not here, but that's just my opinion.

"But if we need a hospital for the community, then we need a hospital. It will drastically change the landscape, the community and the feel."

The former Revere Hotel on Kensington Place. Credit: ITV Channel

Deputy Binet insists that acquiring more land on the street for a new hospital is simply a suggestion for the time being, as States members are yet to approve plans for the whole project.

A feasibility study is due to be published in May.

Politicians will then be asked to support ministers in scrapping proposals for a single-site hospital at Overdale in favour of one that is spread across the island.