Council for the Protection of Jersey's Heritage
Government House

Newsletter 2007 continued...

Coastal Strategy Group - John Mesch

Although the formulation of a coastal strategy is included in the present Statesí five-year strategic plan, the draft documents upon which we commented have not re-appeared.

Similarly we are maintaining a watching brief on the planning application for development on the Plémont headland.

As reported in the Chairmanís opening remarks a letter was written on the planning application to build 24 wooden chalets in the St Ouenís Bay Framework Area on the golf-driving range owned by the Les Ormes Golf and Leisure Centre.

Our concern is that clearly stated policy in the Island Plan is being ignored "the development of new and the extension of existing golf course facilities, to include the physical extension of the site, intensification of the course and any new building, will not be permitted in St. Ouenís bay special area. (Policy SO40).

The Ministerís brief recommending his approval of this application discounted policy SO40 on the grounds that this policy 'is clearly aimed at preventing new or extended golfing facilities which is not the subject of this application' and: 'That policy is not relevant to this application as it does not seek consent for new golfing facilitiesí.

There was no reference at all in the brief to Policy TR3 which states: ĎThere will be a presumption against the loss of existing recreation resources including facilities and playing pitches or fieldsí (Policy TR3). At the planning meeting much was made of the fact that some years before the area had been a camping site - it could therefore be regarded not as a golf course but as a tourist facility.

CPH recommended that the boundary of the St. Ouenís Bay Framework Area should have been re-drawn to exclude this development site before the application was approved.

In accordance with the recommendation of the Ministerís brief this planning application was duly approved.

Archaeology and Landscape Group - Dr. John Renouf

Though no longer leading this Group, Margaret Finlaison FSA continues to provide invaluable advice to the Council. Margaret was instrumental in the creation of CPH and we are very grateful for her outstanding contribution to the archaeology of Jersey over many years. The investigation of the Islandís lavours is drawing to a close. At the last count 63 have been located and a final report is nearing completion.

The group continues to press for the appointment of a States archaeological officer able to direct rescue excavation ahead of building re-development. It really is disgraceful that an Island possessing at least 165 sites of archaeological interest, including a number that can justifiably be classified as having universal importance should not have a single accredited archaeologist on the staff of the planning department.

Building development continues at an alarming rate. Most of this development is taking place without any archaeological assessment or supervision. As a result nearly all the significant sites have been compromised in some way. It is especially disappointing that the Environment Department is initiating plans to dig a pond at the Grand Canal du Squez, apparently oblivious of the fact that the present water course was the source of fresh water for one of our most important archaeological sites at the Pinnacle, and that this whole area should be treated as a single site.

Initial alarm about the marquee at Mont Orgueil Castle has abated somewhat when it was discovered that the JHT had discussed an archaeological mitigation strategy with the Planning Department before their application was submitted. Unfortunately, none of this supporting documentation was made available to the public either at South Hill or at parish halls. Drainage at the site is included in the application but there is a complete lack of information on how this is to be achieved.

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