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unique facility that helps put Jersey on the map. For example if an appropriate developer is found, then an international architecture competition could be put in place that might attract world-class architects (including local architects) to take on this interesting challenge.


The Mont de la Ville site as a whole is actually so big that it needs to be split up into different development zones, but the Fort is at the heart of it. The cost of development could be offset by using one of the peripheral areas as sites for valuable housing, and the old TTS headquarters at South Hill is often mentioned as a relatively easy site to develop as part of the regeneration of the whole area.


Within the Fort itself there are not many easily accessed areas where development can take place without having a fairly dramatic visual impact. The former cable car building is the equivalent of a three-storey block, and there is some potential there, but adequate access will be difficult as it is for many other areas in the Fort.


Even the current Sea Cadet headquarters is a not a particularly attractive area for development of


housing, as an example, as the site is constrained and set in the ditches of the historic Fort. The Glacis Field is very prominent and cannot be developed as it is protected space but could be made even more attractive as part of a bigger development. Smaller areas in the east and west bastions could take some low-level structures if sensitively designed and might be an attractive location for a restaurant with superb views. There is even a suggestion that the main Fort building could be redeveloped to accommodate a three storey townhouse-type housing above a new parking level. But the diamond shape makes it awkward , and alternative space would need to be found for current Fort users.


A review conducted by the Fort Regent steering group ( the FF 50) of the investment potential of the whole Fort site last June concluded that it is difficult to establish significant development potential within a 19th century Fort whose principal purpose was one of defence.


The Review also concluded that ‘it will therefore not easily be turned into residential use, and other uses are limited in where they might be located and what they might be’. Incorporating


the South Hill site would make a considerable difference and would take the pressure off the Fort to deliver a full suite of development opportunities ‘which it is essentially unsuitable to accommodate’. However, it is believed that the site at South Hill may have already been earmarked for alternative uses.


Taking a less negative view, you might still want an answer to the main question and that is what is going to happen to the Fort?


It's obviously going to be difficult to redevelop, but then nobody thought that it was going to be easy. Using adjacent sites for the all-important housing could cross-subsidise whatever goes on inside the Fort and that might even be a better solution for the Fort. But the structure won't stay as it is and it already needs significant work to stop it deteriorating.


Whatever the planning rules say, the building has got to be used even though it appears to be easier to leave it idle. After all it has been part of the Island's history for more than 200 years, and it can continue to play a useful role for years to come given some determination, ingenuity and money.


COMPLETE RANGE OF LED LIGHTING SOLUTIONS


www.sollatek.com Call Sollatek on 01753 214 500 for more information 20/20 - The Island Page 93


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