THE States could have stepped in to prevent a loss of parking at Grève de Lecq – which is now causing ‘recurring’ problems for beach-goers, according to the St Mary Constable.
David Johnson spoke out after a hot weekend saw Islanders flock to the beach, with several commentators on social media describing parking in the bay as ‘absolute carnage’.
In January, plans to redevelop the former Café Romany site – which will see the Grève de Lecq building knocked down and replaced with a four-bedroom home and 100-seat eatery – were approved, restricting access to parking.
Mr Johnson echoed the recent views of his predecessor, John Le Bailly, who said the States Assembly had ‘missed their chance’ to purchase the site, which was sold by the Lewis family in 2020.
Although Mr Johnson acknowledged the site had been private, he added he was concerned that Islanders now might be put off visiting.
‘I did make representations to the Planning Committee at the time for the very reasons behind the problem we have now,’ he said.
‘I’m disappointed that action wasn’t taken at the time.
‘I think it would have been nice if the States had stepped in to see if they could negotiate [for the site],’ he added.
Proposals for the site also involve the restoration of duneland as well as the removal of the majority of the car park.
Last year, Mr Le Bailly warned that the loss of parking would cause ‘severe problems’ and branded the approved plans a ‘disappointment to the parish’.
St Ouen Centenier Bernie Connor explained that the subsequent closure of the site and car park had ‘caused problems’ – with some drivers parking in the way of buses.
St Ouen Constable Richard Honeycombe added: ‘It was bound to happen because of the amount of vehicles that could park in the seaside car park.’
Emma Machon, who co-owns Colleen’s Café at Grève de Lecq, said the situation had revealed a ‘lack of thought’ from the States.
‘It’s so important for Islanders to have easy access to our beaches.
‘From a tourist point of view, we are not seeing the same influx.
‘We are not getting those lovely coaches,’ she added.
Mr Johnson said the problem was going to be a ‘recurring theme’, and questioned why the site’s parking spaces had already been closed off for development, as there didn’t appear to be ‘anything going on’.