Sale of the Royal Yacht Al Fresco area at Weighbridge Square
In 2004 Jersey Development Company (JDC) was given a 150 year lease on the Weighbridge area from Jersey Property Holdings for the purpose of regenerating the area. At the end of the lease, the land reverts back to the States of Jersey.
The Weighbridge was the former bus station for the Island and once the bus station was moved (which JDC provided at a cost of £3m), the Weighbridge area then required regeneration.
The regeneration work undertaken at the Weighbridge cost JDC £1.8 million. The Square is now well used and is enjoyed by the public. In total, JDC has spent £4.8m regenerating the area and providing a new bus station. Recently, it was agreed to transfer the bus station back to the States in 2019 as a dividend. It has also been agreed by all parties that no compensation for JDC’s investment will be made. Comments have been made that JDC is receiving a “windfall” or the States should be receiving these funds instead. Clearly, given the investment made, JDC is not receiving any “windfall” but actually a very limited repayment on its investment into the area. Furthermore, these funds will be used to replenish working capital that can be used on other developments and regeneration projects.
Below: How the Weighbridge was....
And how it is today....
The area leased to the Royal Yacht to provide its Al Fresco dining is not part of the Square. A road separates this land and the Square providing access to the Jersey Museum and Ordnance Yard.
The area of land concerned is shown in the walled area above. The Royal Yacht Hotel currently has 41 years left on a sub-lease. JDC wish to assign the remainder of the 135 year head lease to interested third parties. When the lease expires the land will revert back to the States of Jersey.
Before marketing the small area of land, JDC contacted both its Shareholder representative and Jersey Property Holdings for confirmation that the Al Fresco area was not a strategic asset or part of the Square and could be sold to suitable interested third parties.
P73/2010 (the States Assembly’s proposition that established the States of Jersey Development Company) states ‘Completed assets should only be retained by JDC where it is necessary to maintain management control in order to support the marketing and sale of new developments in the vicinity. Once developments have been completed, they should be sold in the open market, or if there is a strategic reason for long-term ownership by the States, transferred to the States of Jersey at market value. Where assets are sold into the market, they should be subject to an independent valuation to ensure best value is being achieved.
JDC has additional income from Weighbridge Square which more than covers the annual maintenance costs by at least double, therefore, the retention of the Royal Yacht Al Fresco land is not required for this purpose.