Islanders asked to get involved with Jersey’s next Island Plan

Islanders asked to get involved with Jersey’s next Island Plan

THE two-year process to set out the next Island Plan, which will shape the policies that govern development in Jersey’s natural and built environment for the coming decade, has begun with a call for Islanders to get involved.

The current Island Plan was approved in 2011 and the law states the Environment Minister must present a draft replacement within ten years of the approval of the previous plan.

Yesterday, Environment Minister John Young revealed how that process would work, describing it as a balance between providing much-needed new homes, allowing the economy to grow and protecting the environment.

He said current policies put all development in built-up areas, but said the States had failed to ensure there was adequate open space.

‘Ultimately, I think this [Island Plan] desperately needs to do something about traffic and the impact of traffic on residents in urban areas,’ he said.

‘If we are to continue to accommodate people in those urban areas, we have to make sure that can be done in a way that provides decent places to live.’

The first stage of the process will review what policies for new development should be included or changed, taking into account the need for homes, climate change and the impact of the ageing population.

A consultation is being launched to give Islanders the chance to shape the plan and protect the things they think make Jersey special. And extensive research is being undertaken – some of which is being carried out by independent experts – to ensure that the policies are robust and fit for purpose.

Deputy Young stressed it would be difficult and challenging work to strike a balance between catering for the needs of the population and protecting the environment. ‘We’ve got to find a balance,’ added the minister. ‘My personal political position is we need to protect our environment, but I also recognise that life goes on. We have to provide for our community needs. We have to make sure that we continue to pay our way with a successful economy. But that does not mean, in my book, destroying the Island.’

With consultation set to start in the next few weeks, the process is due to last until the spring of 2021, when the plan is due to be debated by the States Assembly.

It will include a review by an independent inspector and a public examination.

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