Jersey Development Company (JDC) has published the results of its Southwest St Helier third stage consultation.
The States owned development company say that they are delighted with the level of engagement which has included almost 15,000 visits to the consultation’s website generating more than 1000 responses from the three stages of engagement with good representation from all ages from the island’s community.
Initial consultations took place in the Autumn of 2020 and Spring 2021 and helped shape the proposals presented for the third and final engagement with the public over July and August. Key findings include lowering the proposed height of buildings, the design, style and amount of open space and public realm.
The design team has responded to comments by reducing the height of the taller corner buildings by three storeys to a maximum of eight and bringing the gateway building down from 16 storeys to a maximum of 12.
The consultation also positively received a high level of requests for increased areas of leisure across the site, including enhanced public realm, more open space to play, additional water features and more opportunities for art and culture.
A key topic raised during the first stages of consultation was the effect of wind in and around the development. The team has ensured the design and positioning of buildings integrates with landscaping features, trees and planting and colonnades to provide good shelter and respite.
The varied, third stage consultation activities included a combination of online sessions, in-person walk & talk events around the Waterfront, an exhibition at the Town Hall, 360-degree concept visualisations of the architectural scale, character and public realm and interactive displays at four different locations around the Waterfront.
A total of 537 people completed the Stage three feedback form with a number of islanders joining the walks, talks and online events and provided detailed written feedback. The consultations highlighted that people are enthusiastic about the proposed leisure facilities, especially the lido, which as one resident said: ‘will add a bit of vibrancy to the area’.
Young people are hoping the waterfront will become a destination for the future. Feedback from under-25s highlighted that the current waterfront is ‘outdated’ and they are excited by the idea of something new. There was also considerable support for cycling and pedestrian routes, with a desire for sustainable travel to be a key part of the proposals.
Other suggestions included ideas for cultural and commercial uses on the development, including more leisure facilities and a selection of cafes bars and restaurants. There was also positive praise and that previous consultations had taken on board comments in relation to building height reductions.
JDC were very encouraged to receive support from young people. More than 20 per cent of those that took part in the third stage consultation were under the age of 25. Significantly, 84 per cent of the under 25s supported the updated proposals which will ensure the design, style and content of the southwest St Helier site meet their aspirations.
Overall, 60% of those who responded to the online questionnaire were in full support of the proposals. JDC’s team are now actively reviewing all feedback and will ensure proposals remain in line with high levels of support ahead of the planning application which will be submitted later this year.