A Tale of Two Streets
Twenty years ago we restored a row of eighteenth-century houses and shops in Hue Street. They were almost all that survived of one of the earliest parts of St Helier. We wanted to do the same for Dumaresq Street but we were persuaded, instead, to let the Co-op buy them – with a promise that they would be incorporated into their Charing Cross store. Each shop would be distinct: the cheese counter in one, meat in another, a wine cellar. The famous His Master’s Voice advert would be carefully re-painted.
It was an imaginative scheme.
But it came to nothing. The buildings decayed even further. Now the Co-op have applied to demolish all of them. An entire historic street will be lost at a stroke. The Co-op say it’s impractical to restore Dumaresq Street. But we know differently. The evidence is right across the street. When we took on the Hue Street shops they had all but collapsed. We used local builders to bring them back to life and provide much-needed homes, offices, and space for small businesses.
Funny thing is; in Manchester the Co-op is moving its national headquarters. Their old offices and warehouses are not being torn down. Instead, the Co-op are restoring and converting them to attractive apartments and shops. In support of their application, the Co-op told the Manchester planners: “Weaving the site’s unique history with today’s communities and tomorrow’s business, this project will create a vibrant tapestry that is captivating and inclusive. When diversity, heritage, values and opportunity combine on this scale they create a unique catalyst for sustainable commercial and social renaissance.”
If you share our view that we cannot afford to lose Dumaresq Street please take time to send a brief note to the Co-op’s Chief Executive, Colin Macleod, via firstname.lastname@example.org or on their Facebook page and lodge an objection to their planning application online at www.gov.je/planning (Application Ref: P/2011/1283)
If the Co-op can do it in Manchester, they can do it in Jersey.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE
READ PAUL DRURY'S REPORT ON DUMARESQ STREET HERE