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Jersey sand quarry to close in 2023

 

A sand quarry, on the island of St Helier, Jersey, will not have its permit renewed beyond 2023, with the Ports of Jersey expecting freight at the St Helier harbour to improve.

Chief executive of the Ports of Jersey Matt Thomas told the Jersey Evening Post (JEP) that the St Helier harbour redevelopment, based on St Ouen’s Bay, included the end of the island’s Simon Sand and Gravel Quarry.

Instead, St Helier will import its future construction material industry supplies.

According to Thomas, the decision to close the quarry will improve freight by 15 to 20 per cent after the closure of the quarry.

“It will lead to a structural shift in the amount of freight that’s brought into the Island, which will have implications on the infrastructure that we have,” he said.

Jersey Environment Minister John Young has not considered extending the quarry’s permit beyond its expiry in 2023.

Imported aggregates will also be required for the £42 million ($AUD76.15 million) redevelopment of Jersey Airport.

Quarry’s post-life
There has been considerable debate within the small island community about the future use of the sand and gravel quarry, which lies within the boundaries of St Helier Island’s national park.

There had been speculation that Simon Sand & Gravel was interested in selling the site for redevelopment into a landfill, much to the alarm of the National Trust for Jersey which is keen to have the site remediated.

No formal application has been lodged to transform it into a landfill and Young has stated emphatically that such an application would have to comply with planning and environmental regulations.

Dune Restoration, which is looking to buy the site, has also confirmed it has no interest in transforming it into a landfill. A spokesman told the JEP that Dune Restoration is proposing to restore the dune landscape using “internationally recognised standards to bring the area back to a habitat that would benefit ecology and biodiversity and allow public access for suitable recreational purposes”.

Simon Sand & Gravel has publically clashed with the National Trust for Jersey in recent months, with the owner Jason Simon accusing the Trust of lobbying the Jersey Government with the result that the “cessation of sand extraction [was] embedded into the Island Plan” in spite of the implications the import of sand will have on Jersey’s carbon footprint.

“As [the] end date [of the prior planning consent] approached and government failed to meet its objective to provide an alternative [to sand extraction], it fell upon me to ensure that a sand supply for the industry was maintained,” Simon said.