ST Helier’s Constable has abandoned his attempt to put plans for the redevelopment of the Waterfront on hold.
At today’s sitting of the States Assembly, Members were due to debate a proposition that the Jersey Development Company scheme be paused until a Town Masterplan was in place, but Simon Crowcroft announced yesterday that he was withdrawing this proposal.
Mr Crowcroft said that he had taken the decision following the response of the Council of Ministers, which he said had ‘effectively met the requirements’ of his proposition.
In his proposal, originally lodged on 28 February, Mr Crowcroft criticised ‘relentless development’ in the Island’s capital, which he said was affecting the quality of life of his parishioners.
Ministers’ comments highlighted the government’s desire to work with the Jersey Development Company and other interested parties, including Mr Crowcroft. This would include the ‘right mix’ of public provisions such as a cinema and a pool, as well as arts, culture and sports facilities, alongside 1,000 units of ‘much-needed’ housing.
Mr Crowcroft said: ‘The Council of Ministers’ comments effectively meet the requirements of my proposition by agreeing to the creation of a plan for town which will include completion of the walking, cycling and parking strategies.
‘While I remain concerned about the amount of housing being proposed at present, given how much of the Island’s new housing St Helier is already providing, I am aware that this matter can be raised in the forthcoming planning inquiry.’
The Constable added that he was pleased to note ministers’ positive comments about the potential for a civic building at the western end of the site next to the International Finance Centre, such as an art gallery. The pledge to invest an additional £3 million per year over the next five years into a programme of regeneration projects in the north of St Helier was also welcome, he added.
Mr Crowcroft’s decision means that amendments put forward by Deputies Sam Mézec and Alex Curtis also fell away, leaving just one piece of public business on the agenda for this week’s sitting.
Following question time, Members are due to consider a proposition from External Relations Minister Philip Ozouf to update the Island’s sanctions and asset-freezing laws.
Mr Crowcroft said he wished to apologise to those Members who had already written speeches on his proposition or the two amendments.