Ministerial documentation regarding Retreat Farm (FOI)
Ministerial documentation regarding Retreat Farm (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 17 February 2022.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
In 2011 and 2014 a property developer purchased premises at Retreat Farm St Lawrence / St Mary's. This included various agricultural workers accommodation, officers, packing sheds, glasshouses, other buildings and land.
The Agricultural Land (Control of Sales and Leases) (Jersey) Law 1974 states "agricultural land" is usually reserved for bona fide inhabitants of Jersey, engaged wholly or mainly in work of an agricultural or horticultural nature and that no person shall enter into any contract for the sale / purchase or any lease without the consent of the Environment Minister.
Between 2012 and 2015 the developer converted what was agricultural workers accommodation into four residential units. He also demolished what was farm officers, packing sheds and further agricultural workers accommodation and built five residential cottages, all of which were sold off.
Prior to gaining planning approval for the construction of five residential cottages the developer applied to construct six cottages on the same plot, which was refused. In the Officers Assessment it stated that the Director Consult was concerned about the quantum of development, not delivery restoration of character to the green zone. Presumption against development in the Green Zone and that this was not a development site per say. Therefore he can't support".
As stated above by the Director Consult the creation of these residential properties on "green zone went against the Island Plan Policy. I think at that time the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002 stated that Environmental Minister may grant planning permission that is inconsistent with the Island Plan but shall not do so unless the Minister is satisfied that there is sufficient justification for doing so.
In relation to points A and B, I would be grateful if you could provide me with all of the Environment Ministers documentation which led to him granting permission
The planning applications referred to are: P/2012/0272 and P/2014/0190.
In accordance with the States of Jersey Law 2005 the Minister for the Environment has delegated many of his powers to officers of the department. There is therefore no correspondence to or from the Minister in relation these applications and Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
Further information relating to the powers that the Minister has delegated can be found on the States Assembly Website via the link below.
States of Jersey Law 2005: delegation of functions – Minister for the Environment – revised delegations June 2019 (gov.je)
Article 10 - Obligation of scheduled public authority to confirm or deny holding information
(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if –
(a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and
(b) the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.