Statement from Lee Henry regarding the letter from the Former Managing Director of WEB Steven Izatt to the Former Planning and Environment Minister, Freddie Cohen.
Following comments regarding the ‘Dear Freddie’ letter, I felt it to be appropriate to post a response to clarify JDCs position on the statements in the letter. Firstly, it is important to consider that the letter is 5 years old and was written during the depths of the global recession. The content of the letter in question pointed out that the more permits granted for new office space outside of the Esplanade Quarter, the longer it would take for the Esplanade Quarter Masterplan to be delivered.
WEB received a response from the Planning Department stating that Planning would not seek to limit supply and would allow market forces to decide which development proceeded and when.
Ultimately, JDC has not directly opposed any third party developers plans for additional office space. This is contrasted by third party developers that have opposed JDC's plans for new office space in the Esplanade Quarter. The two most significant objections have been from Dandara and C Le Masurier Ltd, both of which have lodged Third Party Appeals in a direct attempt to prevent JDC from delivering its projects.
It is widely accepted that there are more planning permissions for new office space in Jersey than there is demand. This has been a subject for public debate on several occasions over the last few years. However, this position is viewed positively by the market, as it ensures there is competition and importantly, it provides potential tenants with a choice of new office space. This will also ensure that there is a long pipeline of newly built office space to respond to the needs of the Island’s growing industries for many years to come.