27 August 2015
NEWS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE REPORTING
Parishioners make their views known on future uses for the existing St Martin Primary School.
The Parish of St Martin should develop more facilities for the community, but make sure that when completed, the facilities should pay for themselves.
That's the overwhelming view of more than three-quarters of the residents that responded to a recent survey undertaken by HLG Associates Limited for and on behalf of the Parish, in order to gauge what the parishioners would like to do with the existing St Martin primary school site, when it is returned to the Parish in November this year.
The significant majority of residents also want the Parish to continue to lead the development and retain ownership of the site, with four out of five respondents being strongly against the Parish disposing of the site for development by others. The residents do not want to see a purely commercial facility that provides no enhancement to community life, instead preferring a mixed-use commercial and community redevelopment of the site without any "financial burden" on the ratepayers to have to pay for its future operating costs. There was also some support for the potential to move some of the Parish administration functions into the building, and this will be further explored when assessing the options that will be presented to the parishioners in due course.
Over 400 survey responses were received, with over 80% of responses coming from those that live in the Parish. The overall response rate from St Martin households is estimated at 20%, representing a good sample of the views of the Parish generally. Those that responded noted the 'quiet, peaceful' and 'friendly' neighbourhood within the Parish as the most important qualities to be preserved.
The survey also noted a preference amongst residents for healthcare-related facilities, such as a doctor's surgery, a dentist's surgery or a pharmacy. There was also good support for the provision of more child-care facilities, with many of the respondents suggesting using the site for the provision of additional nursery or crèche facilities. Less than 5% of respondents viewed the site as an opportunity for further residential development.
The Constable of St Martin, Michel Le Troquer, is pleased that the parishioners took up the opportunity to have their say on what they want to see within the completed building, and noted the significant findings arising:
"To generate over 400 responses was well beyond our expectations, and demonstrates the real interest amongst parishioners for the project and the opportunity that the existing school site presents. It's also gratifying to note the confidence that they have in our approach to the overall development, by endorsing our decision to want to develop the site for Parish benefit, rather than simply dispose of it for development by others."
"The brief from the parishioners has been received loud and clear: give us more valuable facilities that enhance the Parishes outstanding character and community values, but don't leave any financial burden for the Parish to pick-up later. This – and other findings – will be considered very closely by the project team when assembling the design brief."
"This project represents a golden opportunity to ensure the Parish has its administration, public hall, primary school, village green and tea room, churches, community facilities, shop and pub all located within close proximity… something no other Parish in the island can lay claim to and helping to make St Martin unique in that respect."
"I want to thank all of the parishioners that invested their time in responding to the survey. It means so much to get good feedback, and I am now looking forward to the Parish appointing designers shortly, and getting on with the next stages of this exciting project. We intend to come back to the Parish over the next six months to outline the series of viable options that respond to the parishioners preferences."
1. Survey Results:
A report on the survey results can be accessed on this link
2. Consultation Document:
A copy of the consultation document that was used for the survey can be accessed on this link
3. Interview and further comment:
Contact may be made as follows:
- Michel Le Troquer (Connetable of St Martin, email@example.com, mobile 07700 851936) (Out of island and unavailable between 24 and 29 August 2015).
- Simon Matthews (Project Director, from HLG Associates Limited, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile 07700 705339).