Departments collaborate to regenerate St Helier and promote urban life
Government departments are collaborating to improve living and environmental standards in St Helier, and to redevelop the capital to be a more attractive place to live, work and visit. The regeneration of St Helier has been identified as one of the priority areas in the Medium Term Financial Plan and is being spearheaded by the Environment and Infrastructure Departments, and the Parish of St Helier.
The regeneration project will create a vision for Future St. Helier to focus investment in public space; travel and transport; improved standards for new and affordable homes and rental accommodation; and the delivery of high quality office space. It will also seek to ensure that St. Helier is resilient to the effects of climate change.
These projects will be delivered by a reprioritisation of existing public funding within the States and other public agencies, such as Andium Homes; the pooling of public resources in support of common objectives – including joint-working involving the Parish of St. Helier and the Department for Infrastructure; and the private sector, through the delivery of development projects and through contributions to public infrastructure – as part of planning obligations agreements or a new form of infrastructure levy.
The enhancement of St. Helier’s public spaces – its streets, squares and parks - has been identified as a priority by the Council of Ministers as part of this project to improve the town. A new Movement Strategy will identify opportunities to traffic-calm streets and reclaim space for pedestrians, cyclists and shoppers, whilst creating opportunities for new tree planting. A public realm strategy will identify the need for and set out proposals for more and improved open space for those who live in and visit St. Helier.
Andium will invest £200 million over four years to deliver affordable, quality housing that is also environmentally friendly and in line with the Island’s long-term goals of reducing emissions and energy consumption. Additionally, there will be 40 affordable shared equity apartments and 40 social rented homes provided as part of the College Gardens Development.
The Department of the Environment will introduce new standards for the design of new homes – dealing with internal space standards; provision of amenity space; and car parking - to ensure that town residents can access good quality residential accommodation.
It will also deliver “Rent Safe”, a Landlord Accreditation Scheme to improve standards in rented accommodation. The scheme will assess rented accommodation against universal criteria on environmental and living standards to provide greater protection and higher quality for tenants.
To ensure St Helier remains a competitive centre for business, the States of Jersey Development Company will invest more than £150 million to build grade A office space. This will meet both the demand of expanding businesses and attract valuable inward investment. These new office developments will, in turn, free up older office buildings to be transformed into residential properties.
A review of the Esplanade Quarter masterplan will ensure that proposed developments are in line with the long-term plans for St Helier’s built environment.
Creating a vision for St. Helier and providing a clear framework of polices and proposals for the regeneration of the Island’s capital will provide a clear focus for public and private investment decisions over the course of the MTFP and beyond. It will better enable partnership across government to deliver these objectives, to the benefit to the whole Island, its economy and its environment.
The Minister for the Environment Deputy Steve Luce, commented “All of us who have a stake in Jersey’s future share the vision of a St Helier that is vibrant, environmentally aware and an attractive place to live, work and visit. That is why this alignment we are seeing across government to regenerate our capital is so promising and so necessary.
“Preserving Jersey’s environment does not just mean protecting our beautiful coasts and rural areas – it also means ensuring our urban environment is protected and developed in a planned and considered way, which values long-term thinking for the benefit of islanders now and in the future.”
The Infrastructure Minister, Deputy Eddie Noel, commented “The vision for Future St Helier has, from the start, been based on the realisation that we must work together to achieve the best outcomes.
“Much of the change will come about in future years but we are already seeing some improvements to mobility around town such as the trial scheme at Charing Cross and the planned scheme for next year to widen the pavements in Conway Street which will be implemented by combined Parish and Dfi work teams.”