Endless growth? So far so good.

This article first appeared in the Jersey Evening Post on 27 September 2017

Have I taught you nothing over the years, my boy? No one wants flats in a green zone let alone in a park. That’s why the hospital was a stroke of genius. First we get it out there as fact — no debate, no discussion: we need a new hospital. Everyone knows that most voters are old; old people: hospital visits. New hospital? They loved it! We chose a few parks and suchlike. Oh we were so close. Where did this nonsense about rebuilding it in the same place come from? The whole point was shift it out: green fields. We’ll make a fortune building it: who knows what a hospital costs? All that fancy plumbing and high-tech whatnots? But the main thing, the beautiful pay-off, was clearing a huge town centre site. Flats. Five-story blocks. It was like the Waterfront all over again. Anyhow, we’ve kicked it into the long grass. Endless delays now, because what’s the point?

Same with Quennevais School. Too small? Build a new one. Out on the fields. In that last gap along the main road. Lovely. Then flats again, on the old site. See? It works every time. You know I hate to see waste ground. Trees, grass and weeds where there should be flats. Flats, houses, off-licences, bookies, bars, chemists, pound shops. Anything but wasteland, needing to be strimmed. Creepy Valley? It is creepy to waste good building land! Now, what I don’t want to hear is anything about buying up a couple of properties around the old school and extending it where it is! It misses the whole point.

You know me. We need to build. We need the island to grow. Not just reclamation!

You know what I mean. The magic happens when we get planning permission, on green land. That’s when you add the noughts! That’s real added value, my boy. Some farmers, they wait generations for that to happen. Planting concrete! Beats planting spuds.

Mind you, there’s all this Brexit nonsense. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll all want to come to Jersey when England won’t have them any more? Who knows. Work permits, rent controls, all that pinko socialism, we don’t want that here. Housing quallies, and income support. It’s always worked for us. Still, as I always say, just leave the politics to me, and you look after the building, my boy. We’ll do all right, me and you.

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