Ann Court development delay

IT is ‘imperative’ that the progress of a building programme to provide 2,000 affordable homes by 2025 continues, the States-owned social housing developer has said, after a major project was delayed by ministers.

Earlier this month the JEP revealed that Chief Minister John Le Fondré was considering blocking Andium Homes’ plans to build a 165-home scheme at Ann Court and instead building a new States headquarters on the site.

Treasury Minister Susie Pinel later refused to sign off a ministerial decision authorising a loan to Andium to fund the development, which was due to start within weeks, and the company was advised that the project had now been ‘paused’ until the new year.

The news came as the latest House Price Index indicated that the price of a home in Jersey rose by seven per cent over the last year.

An Andium spokeswoman said that demand for the affordable properties remained high and that the figures were no surprise to them.

‘The Jersey House Price Index shows a 2% increase on the prior quarter and certainly reflects our experience of the current market,’ she said.

‘Our affordable-sales strategy continues to progress well, with 40 sales on course for 2018.

‘In addition to this we have just sold six three-bedroom homes at Jardin de la Mare in Grouville for between £325,000 and £335,000.

‘We can do many more of these sales, if further sites are released – the key issue remains supply.

‘It is imperative that we can continue to deliver on our build programme in order to deliver 2,000 affordable homes by 2025 for Islanders to both buy and rent.’

The Ann Court scheme is due to comprise 130 one-bedroom flats, 35 two-bedroom flats and four commercial units. It was approved by planners last November.

Housing Minister Sam Mézec was approached for comment on the delay to the project but had not responded at the time of writing.