Jersey minister 'breached contract' says developer

Plans for the layout of the Jersey International Finance Centre
Image caption Jersey Development Company has plans for an international finance centre on the site

Jersey's treasury minister breached the terms of a contract for a development on St Helier's waterfront, a court has heard during a pre-trial hearing.

Harcourt Developments lost the contract for the Esplanade Quarter in 2009.

The firm is attempting to take Senator Philip Ozouf and the States of Jersey Development Company (SOJDC) to court.

The SOJDC said the agreement was terminated after the firm was not forthcoming when asked for evidence it could finance the development.

The firm said it signed an agreement in 2007 making it the preferred development partner to build 400 homes, offices and a public garden on the Esplanade Quarter.

'Final say'

Harcourt began the process of initiating legal action last year.

In a preliminary hearing in the Royal Court, Solicitor General Howard Sharp, representing Senator Ozouf, argued the minister and the States had the final say over whether the development would go ahead.

The company's lawyers argue the agreement at that stage was binding.

Further legal arguments are due to be heard in two weeks before Bailiff Sir Michael Birt decides whether it will go to court.

In 2012 the Jersey Development Company released plans for an international finance centre on the site with work due to start in 2013.

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