Public debate over a St Brelade beach café’s bid to get parking spaces

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A BID by a St Brelade beach café to create two seasonal parking spaces is due to come before the Planning Committee this week.

The Portelet Bay Café’s planning application has sparked considerable debate, including 140 public comments, including claims made by an industry body that those who have opposed the venue have used ‘intimidation’ as a tactic.

Recommending the application be refused, a planning official said in an assessment report that the site was within the Island’s most protected coastal area, meaning that the private parking spaces above the restaurant would be inappropriate and risk harming the landscape.

The report summarised 36 letters of objection – around a quarter of the total of 140 public comments – including comments about harm to wildlife and vegetation, compromised highway safety and a failure to consider alternative parking options.

Among 104 supportive comments, reference was made to the operators having lost access to the area where they had previously parked and the discreet and sensitive location of the parking spaces, on land that was currently ‘scruffy and unloved’.

The Jersey Hospitality Association was among those supportive of the application, criticising those who had opposed the café since it opened in 2015.

Association chief executives Ana and Marcus Calvani stated: ‘We are incredibly concerned at the level of intimidation being put on these local entrepreneurs by those who wish to seethe business fail – we strongly believe this is inappropriate and against what our island should stand for.’

Mr and Mrs Calvani said they believed hospitality businesses of this type should be championed because of the positive effect they had on Islanders’ quality of life.

The Planning Committee will meet at 9.30pm on Thursday at St Paul’s Centre in St Helier.

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