Thursday, February 23, 2012
New draft planning guidance is being considered by the Jersey government, which, if approved, will provide greater protection for businesses with premises and land holdings on the island.
The supplementary planning guidance, published by the Minister for Planning and Environment, Rob Duhamel, has now been issued for consultation and will call on developers to provide greater justification for changing the use of land and buildings from one which provides employment.
The guidance seeks to support the policy set out in the new Island Plan to protect land and buildings which provide employment and the department is keen to get the views of the public before the guidance is adopted.
Duhamel said: “There is a clear need for the island’s economy to be protected and allowed to regenerate, and importantly, for jobs to be protected and created. To do this, business and commerce needs land and buildings and the planning system can help to ensure that existing employment land is not lost to other forms of development.”
He said that there can be pressure to redevelop employment land for other uses, particularly for new homes, where higher land values can often be obtained, and, at the same time sites available for new business development are scarce. “The loss of any size of site in employment use can, therefore, be significant, especially since a large proportion (77%) of the 5,700 businesses in Jersey employ five or fewer people,” he said.
The draft guidance sets out to explain in more detail how the Island Plan policy on the protection of employment land (Policy E1) will be operated, interpreted and applied in decision making. It provides greater detail on the evidence that is required to be submitted with planning applications that affect land and buildings in employment use to test whether there is sufficient justification to redevelop employment land for other uses, so that planning applications can be properly assessed.