Proposal to build 53 flats on St Helier hotel site rejected

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PLANS to demolish the Hotel Savoy in St Helier and replace it with 53 flats were unanimously rejected yesterday.

The Planning Committee – a panel of politicians – agreed that the development would have reduced the amount of sunlight getting to neighbouring properties.

Drawings of the property were also found to be inconsistent with the detail stated in the planning application, according to members of the committee.

The plans, lodged by hotel director Roberto Lora, involved replacing the hotel with a mix of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.

A neighbour of the Hotel Savoy told the Planning Committee that if the development went ahead, it would ‘destroy’ the enjoyment of her garden.

She added that the proposed development would create a ‘dark and oppressive’ atmosphere over her property.

Committee member Deputy Andy Howell said: ‘My major concern is the health and wellbeing of the neighbours.’

Deciding on the application, committee chair Deputy Steve Luce highlighted inconsistencies between the drawings and details found within the application.

Similarly, Deputy Alex Curtis added that ‘we need to be clear on what we are approving’.

Despite rejecting the application, committee member Deputy Tom Coles said that the proposal’s design ‘sets it apart from the bland setting in the area’.

Mr Lora told the committee that this application was his ‘exit strategy’ in order to leave the hotel industry.

‘I’ve been messed around by the Planning Department, [we are trying] to build houses that Jersey needs,’ said Mr Lora.

The director of architecture firm PF+A planning, Hamish Hargreaves, said that the plans were a ‘very favourable opportunity’ to bring families to St Helier.

He added that not all proposed properties were one- and two-bedroom homes.

Deputies Luce, Curtis, Coles, Mary Le Hegarat, Andy Howell and Constable Richard Honeycombe all voted against the application.

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