Jersey | Taking a break at the abandoned Pontins Holiday Camp

Pontins Holiday Camp at Plémont Bay first opened in the 1920s and was occupied during the war by the Nazis. This was the first of two holiday camps acquired by Pontins in Jersey (Channel Islands). It was purchased in 1961 for £375,000 (equivalent to over £6 million in today’s money) and was completely rebuilt with all new chalets and buildings. The camp closed at the end of 2000 and was meanwhile lying abandoned and derelict, but the are will be re-wilded in the future.

Controversy on redevelopment

At the end of 2012 the question was raised why Pontins was not forcibly demolished. A public inquiry heard evidence to determine whether the landowner should be allowed to demolish it and build houses there. Opponents say the whole thing should be returned to nature. On December 13th, 2013 the States of Jersey said no to saving Plémont from development. In January 2015 news came that the Pontins Holiday Camp will be demolished. It is being described as “The biggest demolition job in Jersey for decades”. Watch the video.

Re-wilded

In an email I received from the Jersey National Trust, Melanie V Taylor comes with good news: “The above acreage was rescued from going under concrete by public appeal through Jersey’s National Trust who raised £3.5m from people who disapproved of this redevelopment.  The States of Jersey matched the money (I have a sneaking idea that they realised that to approve housing would cost them votes). The area will being re-wilded and since it is next to Les Landes, which has many rare species, this is a major victory.  Hopefully, in the years to come it will begin to be inhabited by slow worms, rare green lizards and all the various indigenous plants.  It’s a real victory against fat cat greedy developers.”

Melanie grew up in the area and remembers the camp being built. Now she’s writing about the victory over the developers in her next novel, To Sup with the Devil, out shortly.

More info

Pontins Camps past and present 

Welcome to Pontins Past and Present

Pontins Plemont Bay Postcard

 

I have not entered the buildings at Plémont, because of the asbestos warning signs. All pictures below have been taken on January, 2nd 2013.

 

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