Bob Beslievre, of Sea View Investments, first applied to develop 19 homes on land surrounding Keppel Tower, a late-18th century Jersey Round Tower situated between Seymour and Le Hurel beach slipways, in 2013 after three years of planning. While that one and a subsequent proposal were approved, nearby resident Mary Herold managed to get both decisions overturned by the Royal Court.
A third and smaller application was submitted early last year but was later refused by the Planning Committee.
Mr Beslievre unsuccessfully appealed against the decision, but came back earlier this year with a revised scheme to demolish Keppel Cottage and Elizabeth Cottage and replace them with a new development of ten apartments – six, two-bedroom and four, three-bedroom – over four buildings taking up 30 per cent of the original application’s footprint.
After he held individual meetings with residents of the area, this time there was only one objection and the application received 13 representations in favour, including a petition signed by 43 people.
Planning’s heritage building officer Tracey Ingle attended the meeting at St Paul’s Centre to voice her support for the scheme and, in particular, the proposed restoration to its original state of Keppel Tower.
Mr Beslievre said: ‘After over eight years of painstaking work on the scheme, we are delighted with the outcome of the meeting, which is thanks to the tireless efforts of our team of professionals as well as the Planning Department.
‘We are also grateful to our neighbours for their overwhelming support. We are pleased the Planning Committee has shown their support and we can now start looking forward to regenerating this derelict part of Grouville’s coastline and to re-instate a part of Island history for the public with the restoration of Keppel Tower.’
In giving his approval, Planning Committee chairman Deputy Graham Truscott commended the developer for undertaking such thorough public consultation and making the tower the central point of the scheme.
He said: ‘The design is excellent and I really like the views from the road through to the beach and beyond.’
The sole objection was made by Mrs Herold’s grandson, Greg Herold Howes, who questioned the validity of the petition and said the development was still too large and the design did not fit within the parish.
Addressing the committee regarding the petition he said: ‘This should be disregarded as the only votes that matter are yours.’
The other committee members who voted in favour were Constable Philip Le Sueur and Deputies Scott Wickenden and Rowland Huelin. St Lawrence Constable Deidre Mezbourian cast her vote against because she felt the new buildings were still too tall.