Almost 200 new flats approved in St Helier despite criticism from Jersey's Housing Minister

Work to build 139 one to three-bed apartments on the former military barracks site at South Hill can now start. Credit: ITV Channel

Controversial proposals to build almost 200 new apartments in Jersey have been given the go-ahead.

The South Hill and Savoy Hotel developments in St Helier had both previously been rejected by officials.

However, they have since been revised and now granted permission by the island's Assistant Environment Minister Mike Jackson after being recommended for approval by independent planners.

Around 195 homes will be created with a quarter sold as affordable but Housing Minister Deputy Sam Mézec wants all of them to be offered as such.

He says: "I've never been supportive of this scheme and I've never been in favour of using publically owned land for homes that aren't designated as affordable, but the permission's been granted so we are where we are."

Deputy Mézec has told ITV News that he will look to work with developers on options such as shared-equity and deposit-saving schemes to make them more accessible for people who would not otherwise be able to buy these properties.

Concerns had been raised over the size of the South Hill flats and a lack of sunlight.

The plans will see the former military barracks site turned into 139 one to three-bed apartments with a basement car park for 70 vehicles and 220 bicycles.

The development will also now include a new children's playground and public toilets, along with reassurances for the listed barracks to offer amenities for the benefit of residents.

Meanwhile, the Hotel Savoy plans will see the site demolished and replaced with 53 one-to-four-bed apartments.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Jersey's previous Housing Minister and St Helier Deputy David Warr called the approvals "fantastic news".

Connétable Jackson said: "The conditions set out will secure the provision of affordable housing in the developments, and improvements to the sustainable transport network and public realm.

"The schemes will yield just under 200 much-needed homes for the island, and in the case of South Hill, make much better use of a disused site."