We may have lost a battle – but we can win the war! Planning OK’d on B5, but future plans will need to be looked at.

 The long awaited Staddon report, now released, makes interesting reading. The recommendation is to dismiss the Appeal against the Planning Application’s Panel’s decision to approve Building 5 (the second building of planned six of the International Finance Centre), but that certain areas of policy need scrutinising and updating.
Esplanade Building 5 Planning Appeal - Looking at the Boundaries
Esplanade Building 5 Planning Appeal – Looking at the Boundaries
‘I consider that the 2008 Masterplan is out of date and in need of review.’
‘It is not certain that  the Masterplan  is financially viable’
‘ The Masterplan is fundamentally premised on the lowering of La Route de Liberation. However without the security of the Masterplan’s intended DA there is no Planning mechanism to secure its delivery. (76)

 ‘Although SoJDC acknowledges that it will substantially exceed anticipated Phase 12 receipts, the evidence (that I have seen) is scant. appears broad brush and speculative, and is silent on the issue of risk and contingency.’ (77)

Philip Staddon BSc, Dip, MBA, MRTPI

So what happens next? Whilst the Environment  Minister Steve Luce accepts the recommendation to let the appeal fall away, he also accepts the need to re-evaluate the 2008 Masterplan and its 2011 amendment; this was heavily criticised by Mr Staddon, who has recommended that the 2008 Masterplan is reviewed and updated. This  recommendation has been accepted by the Minister and will most certainly have to go back to the States.

Effectively, even if Building 5 does goes ahead, (and this is no means definite) no more office buildings can be built on the site until this happens.

 Mr Staddon’s recommendations were twofold:

A: That the Minister dismisses the appeal and that Planning permission P2014/2192 be confirmed.

B. That the Minister give consideration to the findings of this report in terms of the case to review and update the Masterplan for the Esplanade Quarter 2008 to provide a sound basis for future decision making and scheme delivery.
The next phase of the battle  comes this Friday when  Advocate Howard Sharpe QC applies to the Royal Court to hear an application by the Waterfront Action Group for a Judicial Review on the Planning Application Panel’s decision to approve the amended plans.
The Staddon report is clearly laid out and makes very interesting reading.
SOSJ hope the Masterplan is revisited in detail and that appropriate groups, including our own, will be consulted where necessary.
Esplanade Building 5 appeal outcome

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