MOVING Highlands College to the site of the current General Hospital is being considered as part of a masterplan for St Helier, which will be presented to the Island’s new government.
The prospect of moving the Highlands campus to a town centre location once the new hospital is built at Overdale is among the proposals for the town’s development ahead of the formation of the next Council of Ministers following this month’s general election.
Home Affairs Minister Gregory Guida mentioned the idea during a recent hustings in St Lawrence, attended by the seven candidates vying for the four Deputy roles in St John, St Lawrence and Trinity.
Speaking to the JEP after the meeting, Deputy Guida said the masterplan was a question of ‘moving things around in St Helier to see where they fit best’.
He added: ‘One of the possibilities is to use the Hospital site for education, including both Highlands and possibly a new primary school – it’s very preliminary thinking, but I think it would be good for St Helier.’
The existing Highlands site had several disadvantages, Deputy Guida added, including being incompatible with aims for sustainable transport as a result of the edge-of-town location, which meant many students and members of staff travelled by car.
Marina Mauger, from teaching union NASUWT, said that many of the buildings at Highlands were no longer fit for purpose, but added that she had not heard about the possibility of a move to Gloucester Street and had doubts about it.
‘The campus is in a lovely situation, with a peaceful atmosphere and nice views, and I doubt that atmosphere could be created in town.’
A government spokesperson said: ‘As previously reported, a plan is under development to address the competing needs for sites in St Helier. Recommendations will be presented to the new government in September.’
Deputy Guida, a member of the Jersey Alliance, is one of eight candidates for St John, St Lawrence and Trinity – the others are his fellow party members Senator John Le Fondré and Deputy Hugh Raymond, plus independents Mary Venturini, Elaine Millar, Hilary Jeune, Andy Howell and Deputy Kirsten Morel.