Plémont Restoration Project update
The campaign to permanently protect Plémont and “return it to nature” was launched in January 2001 in order to safeguard 11.3 acres of coastal headland threatened with extensive residential development. Located on the north-west coast, the site is of considerable landscape importance as it is strategically located between the windswept maritime heathlands of Les Landes and the rising cliffs of Sorel Point. The site is also of archeological significance and is immediately adjacent to the last remaining colony of puffins on the Island.
Plémont had been blighted with the development of a series of holiday camps from 1936 onwards and then, when such holidays went into decline, the site became vulnerable to redevelopment proposals commencing with an application in 1998 for 117 residential units. Eventually after numerous applications and a public inquiry, planning consent was granted for 28 dwellings in 3 distinct clusters in November 2012. This was subject to a third party appeal by the Parish of St Ouen.
Despite planning consent being granted the Trust successfully acquired the site on 25th July 2014 for the sum of £7,150,000 having received a grant of £3,575,000 from the States of Jersey and raising the remaining funds from generous benefactors and supporters.
After securing a further donation of £1m, work began on demolishing and clearing the site in September 2014. All the buildings were cleared by April the following year and extensive landscaping works were undertaken to enhance public access and wildlife value. These included the creation of 2 ponds, a discovery zone for children, repair of medieval drystone walls, construction of a benefactor acknowledgement area, planting of 2,000 trees and shrubs, discreet seating areas, erection of bat boxes, and a new circular pathway.
In the longer term it is hoped that through sensitive management a rich mosaic of habitats will be created for the benefit of local wildlife including such species as Green lizards, Dartford warblers, newts, and toads. In the meantime the ponds are already brimming with wildlife and butterflies are abundant in the long grassed areas where Wild Carrot and Evening Primrose can be found. The public are also discovering this newly restored headland with the pathways in regular usage, as well as enjoying the kite flying festival on the 24th July 2016, to mark the official opening of the site.
A Flight Over Plémont (before demolition)
13th October 2014