Former States senator Jim Perchard, who owns Farmers Cricket Ground, has asked for a field bordering the existing facility – currently a greenzone area – to be reclassified for sporting use as part of the bridging Island Plan, which will be debated next spring.
The government’s current stance is that such requests cannot be accepted, although independent inspectors are in the process of reviewing the draft bridging Island Plan. Perchard attended a public examination hearing this week to make his case.
The proposed, privately-funded project already has the backing of Deputy Hugh Raymond, the assistant minster with responsibility for sport, while the International Cricket Council and Jersey Sport chairman Phil Austin have both penned letters of support.
‘At the moment the site is green zone and there is a presumption against planning on greenzone sites,’ Perchard explained. ‘But would they reconsider rezoning the land to house a sports facility? The whole point of the Island plan review is to explore it and improve it.
‘There is a shortage of this type of facility in the east of the Island and with Fort Regent being decanted rapidly there will be an Islandwide shortage.
‘Jersey will have a Covid debt and I feel that the victim of that will be sports facilities. They will slip down the priority list.’
The field on which the existing ground was built in 2003 was previously a greenzone. Since then, it has become the premier cricket facility in Jersey, hosting fixtures in multiple ICC tournaments.
Full story in Saturday’s JEP.