CBRE Jersey managing director Jon Carter is advertising for sale a 127,435sq ft former Flying Flowers glasshouse nursery at Grantez Farm, St Ouen, and the 293,684sq ft La Retreat Farm, also in Jersey, to see whether there is any interest in buying them to use for growing. If not, it will be a step towards trying to win planning permission to build houses on the sites, he said.
"We're trying to get planning consent to remove the glass to build houses and to show there's no demand for the glass we're going through the planning process," he added. "We have to show there's no demand for employment land."
Carter said the Grantez glass has been vacant for half a year and was bought from Flying Flowers, which was growing plugs there, before Christmas 2014. La Retreat is owned by three private individuals who are not growers and want to redevelop the glass for housing.
From 1 April 2012 the Treasury ended Low Value Consignment Relief, which allowed orders sent from the Channel Islands under £18 to avoid VAT. "The VAT is what's killed it off really," said Carter. "People are looking for alternative uses for glass now because of the VAT thing. We're the first group of people applying for change of use. The States policy is if you remove derelict glass they will grant some planning for two or three houses to cover your costs, but we want to build as many as possible."