The results of a three-month consultation on the protection and development of Jersey’s environment have been published. The consultation on the Island Plan 2021-2030 ran from July to October and all submissions have been considered as part of the response analysis.
More than 45 engagement events were held by the Island Plan Review Team and comments were invited on questions such as where we should build homes; how we should plan for renewable energy and a strong economy; and how to protect the marine environment. The range of events included ‘drop-in’ road shows in each of the Island’s twelve parishes, public workshops, a youth engagement programme and pop-up stalls in the centre of St Helier. The team also gave focused briefings or workshops to key stakeholders by invitation and on request.
An online survey was used, and some questions were linked through Facebook posts to gather as many responses as possible. In total, 2,254 responses were received from all sources. This feedback will inform the development of policies and objectives of the draft Island Plan 2021 – 2030.
Some of the consultation findings
- 71% of respondents supported the option of focusing development in St Helier. The option of expanding the town to the south was also generally supported.
- 78% of respondents resisted development in the countryside, highlighting the importance of preserving landscape character, biodiversity and agricultural land.
- Around 55% of respondents supported further land reclamation, with many considering it a means to meet development needs while protecting the countryside from development.
- 85% of respondents felt the Government should continue to support offshore renewable energy schemes. However, some people highlighted the potential financial and ecological implications, as well as the potential harm, such developments can have on valued coastal views and vistas.
- Respondents were split over the level of protection needed for coastal and countryside landscapes. 48% said they should have more protection against development while 46% said the level of protection in the plan would be adequate
- 72% of respondents felt it was either very important or important that new developments are in locations which minimise journey times and the need to travel
- 86% of respondents considered it very important or important that new developments have access to good bus routes and pedestrian facilities
- Respondents were largely in favour of diversifying the use of agricultural land. Many suggested such land could be shared with other uses, including renewable energy generation (such as solar arrays) and for ecological initiatives
- 44% of respondents considered that redevelopment of agricultural buildings for other non-employment uses should not be allowed, compared with 28% who were in favour of redevelopment, potentially for housing
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young, said: “I would like to thank those Islanders who attended our meetings and gave their views either in person or online. The Island Plan is at the heart of the planning system and shapes the island that our children will grow up in. It determines where buildings can and can’t be built, and how we will protect our natural environment.
“We have the difficult task of balancing the need for new homes with safeguarding our special landscape, while also supporting the economy and planning for an ageing population. The Island Plan will provide guidance on these difficult issues for the next ten years and it is essential for Islanders to be involved in the development of the Plan before it is presented to the States in 2021.”
The findings of this consultation will be used to inform the preparation of the Draft Island Plan, which is scheduled for further consultation during the summer of 2020.
Government of Jersey Press Release.