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Kuhne scheme for Jersey beset by problems

Confusion is reigning over a hugely contentious scheme by Eric Kuhne for a vast plot on Jersey's waterfront.

The massive mixed-use proposals are for a mammoth regeneration site, which until yesterday officially had different planning regulations - as it falls within the boundaries of the Waterfront Enterprise Board.

But it now seems that these 'relaxed' planning rules have now been suspended after popular opposition to the enormous project was mobilised on the island.

If Kuhne's Castle Quay proposals were to win the green light, they would see the wholesale redevelopment of a site earmarked for regeneration.

However opposition, which has been led by the influential Societe Jersiaise, has been calling for the special planning status of the site to be suspended and for the project to be scrapped.

'I can safely say that the vast majority of the island's population is opposed to this scheme,' Chick Anthony, the chairman of the Societe's environment section, told the AJ. 'It had been given special leeway beyond the normal planning regulations.'

One particular criticism, Anthony said, was that Kuhne is proposing the scheme to include three towers, which, he claimed, would be 'vastly out of sale' with the surrounding area.

But late yesterday Anthony claimed that the Jersey government had carried out a volte-face, deciding to suspend the special planning status.

The ramifications of this decision are as yet unclear, he said, but it seemed likely that it would make it considerably harder for the contentious scheme to pick up the go ahead.

by Ed Dorrell

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