Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plemont, Puffins, Planning Policies, Public Participation and Paul Harding's views...

In a few hours time  there is a public meeting called by Jersey's Chief Minister at the Town Hall - 7.30pm Wednesday 5 December - in case you are not already aware of it.
The purpose is to discuss the proposal that Jersey's taxpayers should purchase the Plemont Bay Holiday Village site and return it to nature etc.

Paul Harding the Architect is interviewed here in a two part video explaining his participation over the past fourteen years in preparing many schemes for this site and recently obtaining Planning Permission for its partial redevelopment for the current owners.

Paul has asked to be able to address this evening's meeting but has been refused  permission so to do -although he will be present - and presumably as a member of the public might be allowed to say something.

We shall see.

Hopefully somebody else might be allowed to video record some of the discussions this evening - unfortunately yours truly has a prior appointment.


  1. Oh right, yes, too much participation, and it should be left to the professionals. Apply that logic to government and the jury system , shall we?

  2. Government (if that means the elected politicians) and juries are not trained professionals.
    Although G.B. Shaw's view that "All professions are a conspiracy against the laity" has some substance and the occasional doctor does murder hundreds of patients and buildings professionally designed do still collapse - in general, there is good reason to have trained people doing some jobs.

    Almost any fool can design a simple building but we must recognise that some designs are visibly the creation of very talented people - both past and present. Professional training is not an automatic passport to excellence or even competence but I think that it probably helps.
    Involving the general public in the planning and design process is necessary but potentially dangerous. Brunel's Clifton Bridge would not have been built at all if the view of many lay-people had been accepted.
    I am glad that the design of aircraft is not now subject to public whims on aesthetics or aerodynamics.

    The use of land is something that the general public can legitinately express a view on in many cases - but it certainly helps if they have some specific interest in the matter (as neighbours for example).
    On the other hand, a general public invitation to criticise the "sculptural" appearance of a building is more difficult to justify.

    Property rights, means of expression, peaceful enjoyment of possessions, privacy, the pursuit of profit, public policy, safety and health etc are all legitimate reasons to retrain or encourage a design or the designer but the interference can be excessive.

    Plemont was in my view a local mattter which directly affected very few people living in close proximity. It has been artificially turned into an "all island" matter with many different threads. What was simple has been made complicated.
    The "public interest" is not certain and the means of expressing that has been demonstrated, yet again, to be very flawed.

  3. Hi Tom.

    You do a very informative job with these interviews, with our local Media we only get sound bites. But with your Blog we get in depth interviews that really can & do put you totally in the picture. It is a shame that the States of Jersey do not like you doing this, but you are trying to inform the public to what is going on & that is no good for the States.

    So keep it up.

    If the States pass the Proposition it will be a kick in the teeth to everyone that are struggling, they say we have no money, Kids don't have milk at School but they can go down this path which could end up costing up to £16 Million.

    Just for the few people that mite go & walk past it, what a joke. At that meeting the other night it was full of the National Trust people, I wonder how many of them have a £1 Million pound + home & that haven't got a care in the world. Not like the vast majority of this Island that are fighting for every penny to pay there Bills.

    I Hope it cost them Greedy people £16 million +. Its just not right for this to be happening at this time. They should let the building go ahead & be great full that it will not look like Portlet!