Co-op store plans are too big: Jersey planning department

Proposed Co-op development The society submitted plans for two large retail units and offices with parking

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A new Co-op store at Charing Cross in Jersey needs to be smaller for it to go ahead, according to the planning department.

The Channel Islands Co-Operative society wants to build a new food store, offices and an artists' studio on the site of its existing store.

In the process it would demolish two listed buildings and create a new five-storey building.

Planning officers have recommended rejecting the current proposals.

'Unprofessional U-turn'

Colin Macleod, head of the Co-Op in Jersey, said it was "utterly unbelievable" that the planning department was unhappy with proposals for the new St Helier store.

He said he had spent £250,000 on plans for the site after positive early meetings with the department.

The development has been described as a major new gateway into the town centre.

Mr Macleod wants planning minister Deputy Rob Duhamel to reconsider after what he described as an "unexplained and unprofessional U-turn".

Andrew Scaite, from the planning department, said officials agreed in principle with redevelopment but were concerned about its size.

The minister will consider the plans at a public meeting on Friday.

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