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Chairmanís Note - Jurat Nick Herbert
This newsletter covers our second full year and relates mixed fortunes in our endeavours. What cannot be in any doubt is that Jersey needs an active campaigning group in addition to our well established non-governmental organisations such as La Société Jersiaise and The National Trust for Jersey.
The Minister for Environment and Planning, Senator Freddie Cohen, has confirmed that he finds our letters on planning and policy matters useful to him. The most important of these have dealt with proposed developments at Sites of Special Interest (Mont Orgueil Castle, Archirondel Tower and Le Vouest in St. Martin) and in the St. Ouenís Bay Framework Area at the Les Ormes Golf and Leisure Centre.
We are delighted that he has managed to fund a consultancy contract with Oxford Archaeology, which though far short of our repeated request for the employment of a full-time archaeologist in the planning department, can at least be seen as a step in the right direction.
The Council made a major contribution to the consultation on the White Paper introduced by the Environment and Planning Department which will result in the first ever formal listing of all archaeological sites in the Island. Dr John Renouf, now leader of the Archaeology Group, produced for planning a critical analysis of a large section of the proposed listing which should be invaluable in improving its accuracy and relevance.
André Ferrari has been as active as usual in the Urban Rescue Group and has regularly received good coverage in the Jersey Evening Post.
There has been no apparent progress on developing the coastal strategy and there has been no formal response to the planning application for 36 houses on the derelict holiday camp site at Plémont.
On domestic matters membership still stands at about seventy and renewed efforts will be made to increase numbers, but this takes time.
I am delighted to report that our deputy chairman, Rowland (Chick) Anthony was elected as President of La Société Jersiaise in April, and with André Ferrari, chairman of our urban rescue specialist group, both continue to attend the Ministerís Registration and Listings Advisory Group which is responsible for advising Senator Cohen on historic buildings and their listing.
A new venture has been started by members of the Council, namely Chick Anthony, André Ferrari, Neil Molyneux, Dr John Renouf, Professor Colin Platt, Michael Ginns and John Mesch. Together they form an ad hoc working group, operating at present under the aegis of La Société Jersiaise, which is looking at the possibility of seeking World Heritage Site status for the Channel Islands. The long-term benefits to the conservation of our remarkable collection of heritage assets to internationally recognised standards would be considerable. It would also be a long-term and powerful marketing tool for the tourism industry.
This project has reached the stage where, on 14th November, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr Rod Mc Loughlin, the Cultural Development Officer with Senator Freddie Cohen, Deputy Carolyn Labey, and representatives from the Planning Department, the Jersey Heritage Trust, the National Trust for Jersey, Chick Anthony and John Mesch in attendance. It was agreed that professional advice was needed to confirm that the heritage assets of the Channel Islands can be judged by the World Heritage Committee to be of Outstanding Universal Value. You can expect to hear more on this subject in the near future.
Not by chance, Brian Davison, our guest speaker at our AGM on 13th December, will be addressing issues of conservation and development at a World Heritage Site based on his personal involvement over many years at Stonehenge.
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