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Hopkins' power of veto in Jersey leaves Kuhne scheme in question

Eric Kuhne's plans to build tall in Jersey's capital St Helier are under threat from an extraordinary architectural appointment.

The island's government has handed power of life and death over projects on the town's waterfront to Hopkins Architects.

The move to bring Hopkins in may leave Kuhne's contentious scheme ( pictured) floundering.

The London-based practice will have massive influence with the island's planning authority, effectively deciding whether architectural and urban design schemes should go ahead.

Jersey's new planning and environment minister Freddie Cohen said he had brought Hopkins in to significantly improve design standards.

'I have raided the bar in design terms,' Cohen told the AJ. 'I have said that any planning application over six storeys will have to be of an exceptional standard.

'And Hopkins will decide whether projects are of an exceptional standard or not,' he added.

Pressed on whether this will sound the death knell for Kuhne's project, Cohen said it would not make things any easier. 'It is up to them whether they resubmit or not,' he said.

Hopkins director Jim Greaves said he was excited by the appointment. 'We are delighted to be given the opportunity to be involved in bringing forward a cohesive approach to the development of the Waterfront.

'The location on the edge of St Helier's historic town and its proximity to Elizabeth Castle require very sensitive handling to ensure overall success. We are looking forward to working on this unique project,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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