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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Application submitted for Saint Mary’s Cannabis Farm Plan

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Medical cannabis can be grown at Saint Mary’s Farm if the plans submitted to build the necessary facilities are approved.

Proposals include the extension of the farmhouse, the erection of perimeter fencing and the creation of a parking area at La Verte Vue farm on Rue du Rondin in order to allow Green View Ltd to grow, produce and supply a ‘high quality cannabis product’. The site has been operated as a working farm for a number of years.

A submission from KE Planning, on behalf of Green View Ltd, which formed part of the application stated: “Green View Ltd is a private Jersey registered company owned by Jersey residents and formed in 2021. GV is committed to improving the quality of life of people with chronic or terminal illnesses Through the organic cultivation of medical cannabis, to provide a high quality, safe, and consistent supply of medicines derived from hemp.

The cultivation of cannabis plant species, medical cannabis cultivation methods, and research into its development has been designated by the government as an alternative agricultural use to replace previous agricultural uses.

The application also states that if the plans are approved, a maximum of four employees will be on site at any one time.

Plants will be grown in the building continuously throughout the year. Staff will be present every day to manage the facility. “The distribution will not take place more than once a week,” the planning statement continued.

The site will be made secure using a combination of barriers and technology. The app explains the location of the proposed security fence. Boundaries will be defined and arranged so that a clear view of the site can be achieved. Closed circuit television cameras and infrared cameras will provide the main methods of surveillance.

However, the National Trust for Jersey has objected to the proposals on the grounds that ‘construction of a 2.4m steel security fence with a total length of more than 100m is inappropriate in the green, creates a negative visual impact and does not blend with the character of the area’.

Despite the objection, a number of nearby residents expressed support for the proposals.

Commenting on the plans, Island native Daniel Entwistle said: “We fully support this application, which borders our property immediately to the south of the proposed site. The development of the site will ensure that it is preserved for a viable agricultural purpose suitable for the rural environment and protects the area from falling into disrepair.”

Julian Slater added: ‘As owners of the listed building south of the property, we are concerned that in the future, unless a commercially viable purpose is found for this land and buildings, it may fall into disrepair and adversely affect the setting.

We are writing to provide our support in the application. The existing unused greenhouse is maintained at the expense of the land owners but serves no commercial purpose. The land around the building is mainly used to store gardening equipment and materials, but otherwise this site does not make the best use of the island’s agricultural space or contribute to the rural economy.

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