Thanks for your support this helping to preserve this unique building. I thought I would let everybody know how the meeting went with the planning department on Monday 8th February 2010....
The meeting consisted of myself, Mr Alaistair Coates, the senior planning official behind the decsion to approve the development, and the departments historical adviser, though her names slips my memory.
The meeting lasted approximately one honour, in which I progressed through a report on the house, which is available to view of the Windward House Website (http:\\savewindwardhouse.tripod.com). Before anybody says how appaling the spelling is, it was the spell checked version I handed over!!! We went over the five key concerns in turn, beginning with the historical evidence to suggest Windward House was a building of historical interest. This the historical advisor agreed with, but felt that there were other properties in the island had more than Windwards uniqueness that should be preserved over Windward House. We also discussed the cider press, fruit gardens and apple orchid, which again were deemed not so unique to the property, as many Jersey residences of this time still contain these additions and are still in use. This I kind of expected.
Secondly we covered the plans themselves, again raising conern over the scale of development, loss of open spaces and loss of the unique connection between the current house and the new houses. Mr Coates emphasised that what they are trying to do is build 'History for the future', basicly saying that he hopes in 80 to 100 years time people will look on the new development as being a good example of 21st century design. I counter argued that this is the opinion of many islanders already about the current house, but he seemed to waive over this somewhat.
Predictably, these concerns eventually led into the discussion about Mr Scotts decsion to remove the landscaping of the house and allowing the house to fall into such a state. Mr Coates again argued that it was his house and there was nothing he could have done, even though the gardens and landscaping made an active contribution to the headland. He also stated that there is no law in Jersey that states that buildings cannot be left to deteriotate into a state of disrepair, meaning basicly that its allowed.He did point out that in Britain there IS a law that stops people doing this. He also failed to comment on the fact that it appears Mr Scott had the gardens and landscaping, along with the apple corchid and fruit gardens pulled up in an attempt to help his application, by saying that even if the site was landscaped, it wouldnt have made any difference to the outcome.
I also tried to go through each of the criteria in turn, though Mr Coates thought that was not worth going through, as 'experience' also contributes to decsions, not just the criteria.
Finally we covered the criteria for listing a building, where it came to light that although the house qualified under most of the criteria, the criteria in Jersey only covers a buildings EXTERIOR and not the interior. Clearly Windward is unie in its exterior, but alot of its gems are inside, with the left, light swtiches, cupboards in the pantry and staircases. For this reason, its interior features would not help the buildings original state. Also, it was emphasised that as there were many other buildings from thre 1920's in the island, others would be worth preserving more than Windward House
What we have to accept is two things, firstly, that the planning laws seem a little unjust, both in property ownership, in terms of deliberate neglect, and secondly, Its Mr Scotts Decsion. I have full respect for the History team at Planning and Envionment, and its of my opinion that they are pushed into corners by the Planning commitees, not always getting there say agreed with. In the end, the fault that the building is coming down lyes with Tom Scott. We all know he doesnt need the money, and we all know that if he were to sell Windward House in its current state, with its lands, he would fetch a sum of over £1 million, more than enough for any normal person. Its a shame that sombody else didnt buy this stunnig property, if they did, I doubt we would be having this conversation now.