A scheme with more questions than answers

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From Jane Sappé.

I READ with interest Cameron McPhail’s recent letter to you, celebrating the proposed development of the Water’s Edge Hotel site at Bouley Bay. I noted with even more interest Mr McPhail’s address.

Unlike Mr McPhail, I live quite close to Bouley Bay, in the parish of Trinity. While I am not at all adverse to the sympathetic and positive redevelopment of the Water’s Edge, I am not currently persuaded that what is being proposed can be classified in any way as ‘sympathetic’ or ‘positive’.

Prior to forming my final opinion about the plans, I have sought input from those involved in creating this current proposal. Having had an opportunity to look at the proposal document in detail, I have questions and concerns.

Given the publicity that there been about a desire by the developer to engage in a consultation process prior to going to Planning, I thought the right thing to do would be to direct my queries to those who have been involved in creating it, and whose contact details are given in the proposal document.

I sent an e-mail on 30 March, and I am still as of the date of this correspondence waiting for a response of any kind. The complete lack of acknowledgement, let alone response, to my e-mail makes me wonder. Does the developer want genuine consultation about this scheme, or alternatively, is this proposal just a smoke screen for the next proposal, which will no doubt be much more reasonable and for which we will all be ever so grateful, having been concerned about the current one?

At present, the proposed development involves:

• The closure of a dive centre which has been in existence for about 50 years (the bay being the best and safest place in Jersey for the siting of a dive school).

• The closure of the Black Dog Public House, which is a hub of the Bouley Bay community.

• Jeopardising the future of any hill climbs.

I have no idea what environmental impact it would have, given the diverse and fragile flora and fauna that exist in and around the bay, but I think I am safe in saying that any development will inevitably have an adverse impact on the environment.

That being the case, the issue here is whether the benefits of the project outweigh its detrimental effect. At no point in the proposal document is this issue addressed in any way, let alone in any detail.

Generally speaking, and to use construction terminology, is this really ‘development’ or is it just ‘demolition’ and nothing else?

To me, at this point in time and without the benefit of having any input from those promoting this scheme, this current proposal looks as if it will rip the heart out of Bouley Bay, and replace it with the poor substitute of a lump of concrete.

Who could possibly benefit long-term, apart from the developer, who makes money, and 24 flat-owners, who get a fantastic view?

When I first read the proposal document, I was initially delighted to see that it acknowledged that Bouley Bay ‘remains an important leisure destination for locals and tourists’.

However, having made that statement, there is no subsequent reference back to it. Does the developer really think that a 24-flat development, which, in my architecturally uneducated view, looks more suited to the Costa del Sol, will attract tourists or locals?

Or is the developer trying to make the bay a private piece of coastland for the flat owners, but just doesn’t want to say so?

I can’t help feeling that there are more questions than answers at the moment, and that this is, for everyone concerned and affected by the proposal, an unsatisfactory state of affairs.

Le Moulinet,

La Vielle Charrière,


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