News 03.04.2024

Planning Granted for Landscape-Led Residential Scheme at South Hill, Jersey

Planning has been granted by Jersey’s Assistant Environment Minister, Mike Jackson, for an innovative development that is set to transform the former planning offices at South Hill, St. Helier, into a vibrant new residential community.

The scheme led by Fielden Clegg Bradley and Gillespies for Jersey Development Company introduces 139 new apartments, each furnished with generous planted balconies and supported by a range of private external amenities, along with biophilic interventions and substantial enhancements to the surrounding landscape.

Drawing direct inspiration from the rugged beauty of Mount Bingham and the site's spectacular quarry setting, the design of buildings and associated public spaces suggest they have been sculpted from the very rock of the hillside. Combined with an abundance of lush planting throughout the open spaces and building facades, this unique approach creates a powerful identity and sense of place for the scheme.

A focal point of the development is the partially sheltered podium courtyard, connecting the complex of three residential buildings. Here, residents can participate in a diverse range of recreational activities while enjoying panoramic views of the French and English Harbours and Elizabeth Castle in the distance. The heavily planted courtyard features sunny lawn areas, inviting seating spots, and designated zones for active play, fostering a vibrant and inclusive environment for everyone.

In contrast to the active courtyard, a Ravine Garden walkway, nestled between the quarry wall and the main building offers a distinctly unique sensory experience. Climbing plants and fern species create an immersive and tranquil gorge-like setting, reminiscent of a Jurassic landscape.

New and improved walking and cycle routes will make the site more accessible for residents and visitors to the area.

In collaboration with the Parish of St. Helier, the development includes the redesign and refurbishment of the adjacent children's play park. Inspired by the creative input of local schoolchildren through a competition led by Gillespies, the park's layout extends from the courtyard into the wider landscape. It features rock fracture lines interwoven into the landscape, designated play zones carved into the hillside, and engaging "play on the way" trails adorned with natural timber pieces. Additionally, the park will include amenities such as a serviced area for food vendors and publicly accessible restrooms, ensuring a welcoming and fully accessible environment.

The design for South Hill prioritises biodiversity and habitat restoration. Measures will be taken to replenish the land following its history of stone extraction and provide a net gain in biodiversity. Measures include creating ‘stepping stones’ for wildlife by establishing a network of living roofs and habitats, acting as connective green corridors spanning into the wider landscape. Rainwater capture systems are designed to nourish the new planting, while the species themselves have been selected for their resilience to drought and coastal conditions, so they will thrive in this exposed land outcrop.

This transformative project underscores the team’s commitment to creating sustainable, nature led residential communities that unlock existing industrial sites, enhance the local environment, and enrich the lives of the new residential community.