Petition Support a proposal to improve the unused recreational sporting area at FB Fields

The area of land was gifted to the public for recreational sporting use. We should all be disappointed that a recreational area which was gifted for the public’s (i.e. all of our) enjoyment is neither being used nor in a position to be used in its current state.

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Jersey Property Holdings and/or the relevant States department should do everything within their powers to ensure the land can be used by the public for the purpose intended.

In 2015 the Government spent a considerable amount of money improving the area (re-surfacing and installing new floodlights). However, even after that expenditure the area has not been used and is currently left dormant and in a sorry state.

Please consider showing your support to an individual that has the time, energy and inclination to make it a thriving sporting facility for all the public to use once again, whilst improving physical and mental well-being.

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2,321 signatures

5,000

Ministers responded

This response was given on 17 February 2021

The proposed lease of the site to a third-party business venture and the creation of five-a-side football pitches is considered a breach of conditions created when the land was gifted to the Public.

A request has been received from a private organisation, JS Fives, to convert an area of FB Fields to five-a-side football venue. A planning application has also been submitted. Regrettably, it will be difficult to achieve this new facility because of a covenant on the land and because it has not been possible to get agreement from the beneficiaries of the covenant.

The area in question was previously used primarily for netball and it remains in a functional state. The Government is aware that this small space needs to be brought back to use and will continue to look at alternative recreational and sporting options for this area.

In line with the ‘Inspiring an Active Jersey’, Ministers support sporting ventures that will provide more opportunities for islanders to follow healthy lifestyles. The Government will further support the applicant to explore possible alternative sites that might be suited to accommodate this five-a-side football business proposal.

The piece of land in question was gifted to the Public in 1961 by the owners of a neighbouring property known as “Peverell” (now known as “Villa d’Azette”) situated to the west of the site and various conditions were created in the contract. Since that time, the site of “Peverell” has been sub-divided and there are now seven owners who are entitled to claim the benefit of the restrictive clauses.

The specific conditions that would affect the JS Fives proposal at FB Fields are as follows:

"2. That the said piece of land is also hereby gifted, ceded and transferred for public use and shall be used by the Committee of the States known as the “Education Committee” (or by such other States Committee duly authorised in this respect by the States Assembly) as that Committee shall think fit in order to encourage sport and the spirit of sporting competition, and furthermore, the said piece of land shall become a sporting recreation ground joined to and incorporated in the neighbouring property known as “F.B. Playing Fields” belonging to the Public.

4. That there shall only be erected or constructed on the said piece of land hereby gifted, ceded and transferred one sole building or pavilion with changing rooms and appurtenances for use of the players."

The submitted proposal, which includes the installation of cycle stands, new fencing, playing surface and caged netting around the existing netball courts, would be considered a breach of the condition 4 above.

Any future use of this part of FB Fields will be considered in line with the covenant. The close proximity of residential homes, and potential noise and disturbance, will need to be carefully considered.

Objections to the planning application have already been submitted by the majority of the beneficiaries of the covenant, it would suggest that the Public would be challenged to obtain approval from all of the property owners in respect of amending the restrictions.

Deputy Kevin Lewis
Minister for Infrastructure

Deputy Hugh Raymond
Assistant Minister with Responsibility for Sport

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At 5,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in the States Assembly

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