Jersey planning policies 'too complex'

Jersey's planning policies are too complex and need to be revised, according to the head of a States of Jersey scrutiny group.

Deputy John Young, chairman of the island's environment scrutiny panel, said he had seen a surge in the number of complaints about planning issues.

He said he was concerned applications were being turned down inappropriately.

Planning Minister, Deputy Rob Duhamel, said he wanted to get more people involved in the design process.

But Deputy Young said the guidelines for construction in the island needed to be looked at.

'Onerous restrictions'

He said: "All of us are getting a lot of complaints about inflexible application of planning policies which imply onerous restrictions.

"What people are looking for is some help and some common sense practicalities to help them to be able to preserve what is important in buildings and make sure they are in good usage."

Deputy Duhamel said planning would always be subjective and decisions were made for a variety of reasons.

He said: "Planning is unfortunately a bit of a subjective judgmental art form and in some instances it is a case of knowing where to draw the line and drawing it in a sensible place."

He said getting neighbours and community groups working with designers on buildings at an early stage would make them more positive about the development.

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