Neighbours fear Oatlands' Spiegel tent is here to stay

PEOPLE living near visitor attraction Oatlands fear its Spiegel tent will never be removed, even though its appeal against a planning decision was dismissed yesterday.

Rik Klessens, owner of the family company Het Spiegelpaleis, which put up the spiegel tent for the first time in May 2012, although permission had not been granted. (Picture by Juliet Pouteaux, 1249142)
Rik Klessens, owner of the family company Het Spiegelpaleis, which put up the spiegel tent for the first time in May 2012, although permission had not been granted. (Picture by Juliet Pouteaux, 1249142)

PEOPLE living near visitor attraction Oatlands fear its Spiegel tent will never be removed, even though its appeal against a planning decision was dismissed yesterday.

The long-running planning battle centres on the 15-metre wide circular tent at the St Sampson’s site, which went up last May.

While the appeal was rejected yesterday, a new application for the tent went out to consultation on the same day.

Neighbours Diane Hockey and Bob Chapple sat through the appeal at Les Cotils and were pleased that the tribunal sided with planners.

But Mrs Hockey, who lives about 30 metres from Oatlands, believed the battle was not yet over.

Comments for: "Neighbours fear Oatlands' Spiegel tent is here to stay"


I dont see what the problem is. There are no houses in the immediate vicinity and the crazy golf, bouncy castle etc look much worse than this tent.

I walk past the area nearly every day and there is a field nearby full of old vehicles and decaying structures that looks much worse. Also across the road from Oatlands is an area with several hedge veg stalls and overgrown fields which also look much worse.

It appears to me that the oatlands neighbours are being deliberately problematical just because they can be.

I doubt whether they are really affected by this tent but believe that they have found something that they can moan about and cause Oatlands trouble.



Next time your passing.. Open your eyes and your ears.. its quieter these cold wet days.. try passing in nicer weather... this has well overstayed its welcome.. not that it had one in the first place....

Yes there are overgrown fields and hedge veg stall but neither of these are making the noise that these so called attractions at Oatlands are.


It is totally out of keeping with the area, it is not meant to be a permanent structure - end of!


@ Macaroni

'Out of keeping with the area" ? What a load of rubbish.

One side there is a 25 foot wall, another side of it is green fields (which looks good with this tent), another side is the Oatlands center, which the tent is in keeping with, and on the last side is the road, with maybe at the most 3 houses that can see this tent.

Maybe its the houses that arnt in keeping with the area really? Get a life and start worrying and causing trouble about something that is worthwhile.


I have sympathy for these people; they have had to tolerate that ghastly spectacle for so long. I think that it ought to be replaced with a tea garden- the latter has greater aesthetic appeal and will be of avail to those from all age groups.


A Speigel Tent is a travelling tent. It is meant to travel. The current Speigel Tent under discussion is totally unsuited to Guernseys architecture and landscape. The 'tent' is bizarre, and it is ugly. IT IS TIME IT TRAVELLED. Why are the States snoozng at the switch on this issue?



The States apparent apathy, or indeed blindness, is influenced by their belief that such a venture raises morale of children who are disgruntled by a lack of facilities and that it is beneficial to the tourism industry. It would perhaps be useful if they perused our posts on this article as they would recognise that it does nothing more than impoverish the aesthetics of the environment and irk local communities.

Have they considered reviving the agriculture industry or creating a new horticultural one ? This latter idea is something that we actually need as it could help us to achieve a state of Autarky and help in the world's attempt to mitigate climate change.


Has this got anything to do with Asterix?

Surely its home should be in the old slaughterhouse once its free

Close to where she came to grief

Lots of visitors will visit her there

Jenny H

I quite agree soph. The slaughter house is the ideal place to exhibit the asterix. It is within walking distance of town, on the harbour and is accessible to visitors. Why have it out of town and out of the way?


Apparently the tent and organ can only be removed by specialists. If it has passed the date when it should have gone it should go. How many specialists does it take to drive a JCB and a truck?

Pepe Le Pew

Keef - I estimate 10 people will be required:

Project Manager

Risk Manager

Health and Safety Manager

Environmental Manager to supervise correct disposal of the demolished items.

Liaison Officer to co-ordinate with the various stakeholders

Attendant to put up signs saying "Demolition in progress"

Communications Manager to ensure the signs are correctly spelled.

One to make coffee for the rest

One to supervise the coffee attendant

Oh...and one to drive the JCB

Island Wide Voting

Sounds like a job for Mr Neale and his Les Beaucamps High project team


And whilst your at it, please can we take the flower baskets down from around town, they are too green, and can you cancel the Prom on the pier in the summer because I dont like the music and can we ship everyone in this island that likes to have fun to Lihou Island so we can be miserable in peace please. Thank you.


It wont be moved anytime soon.

A friend of mine's neighbour developed his garden without permission, applied retrospectively, was turned down, appealed and lost at tribunal in October of last year and, so far, has not been forced to remove the illegal development and return it to its original state.

In fact Planning are allowing them to submit a revised application and have told him that even though it went to tribunal and they lost they can keep applying as many times as they like so long as the application differs slightly!!

Which begs the question what is the point at all of having these independant panels? or for that matter saying "no" at all?

You wonder how much money all of this is costing us taxpayers.

Planning have lots of powers but no backbone to use them.


Oatlands is one of the best tourist attractions on the island. The man who runs it is prepared to invest a substantial amount of his money into helping the tourist industry yet is thwarted at every opportunity.

The tent looks perfectly okay where it is and the neighbours seem to just like being pedantic. We live on a small island and should be encouraging anyone who is prepared to boost our local economy.

Methinks some people in Guernsey have nothing better to do than whinge a lot!



Whilst we ought to embrace any venture that would fuel our economy, is it perhaps more wise to support enterprises that create both economic and environmental stability ? Is it more favourable to achieve great affluence islandwide whilst displaying apathy or blindness towards ecological issues, or to put larger focus on the environment and be satisified with a modest degree of prosperity ?


@ Ed,

Well that about sums up the attitude of this island really, you obviously work in finance.

In the natural world, the most inportant thing is the smallest thing, Plankton. Without the Plankton, you would not have the Human, so in order to keep the human, you have to keep and encourage the Plankton or the whole system will crash.


That's exactly what I was trying to say !

Those were rhetorical questions- I was suggesting that environmentally-friendly economic ventures are most advantageous.

By the way, I do not work in the finance industry, I am a student.



Well if you expressed yourself clearly people would understand you


One of the best tourist attractions on the island? Really? Can't see many tourists jumping off the cruise ships to visit the spiegel tent....

I think that it has gone downhill considerably since P-K-K took over and resembles nothing much more than a shabby gypsy encampment at times (Spiegel tent included).

The site has so much potential to be developed along a more family based theme in order to enhance what is offered by the mini-golf course, Jungle House and other small shops.


I am sorry Lisbeth but the standards at Oatlands are very high compared to some of our other so called 'attractions'.

Compared to Jersey we have very few tourist sites that would fit into a gold standard of attraction. Oatlands is well cared for and is of a high standard.

Perhaps Mr Kaufmann Kent is fed up of bashing his head against a brick wall trying to invest in Guernsey's tourist trade.


I'm afraid we're going to have to differ in our opinion there then QueenBee. Oatlands a Gold Standard? Scraping a bronze at the very best.

Not even going to make a comparison with Jersey as it is a larger island with a bigger population that attracts considerably more tourists than we do.

Apart from the JH and mini-golf (that yes are looked after by the respective tenants and appear to be run very well), what really is there for tourists at Oatlands that would make them go out of their way to visit?

A jewellery shop? Plenty of those in town. The 'funfair' rides? Pretty pants even for a toddler's interest. Cafe - don't know about that as refuse to visit based upon the shambolic treatment of the Scowens. Gift shop? Fairly good but vastly overpriced.

Maybe once the maritime museum opens it may be more of a draw but give me the Shipwreck Museum, Castle Cornet, Candie Gardens and Museum, Victor Hugo's House, Occupation Museum, Underground Hospital anytime.



The only way that Kaufman Kent is going to destroy a brick wall and construct a staircase to success is if he acknowledges that his attemtp to create lucrative trade at Oatlands by investing money into the creation of shoddy 'fairgrounds' merely generates consternation from neighbours and those using Oatlands Road. He ought to collaborate with other parties to cultivate biogas crops in the adjacent fields as the benefits, although rather subtle at first, are profoundly positive (theoretically) . If he fails to do so then I am afraid that his worldview ( I am not trying to be rude) is myopic.


Queen Bee.

Work there, by any chance...?

Your tone seems rather familiar.....

but I digress.

Oatlands is an appropriate setting for the next traveller inspired series to grace our screens, but that is as close as it will ever get to proper entertainment, and indeed, on the telly is about as close as I'd like to have this gypsy scrapyard to me.

Since arriving in Guernsey and taking over Oatlands, which he did to make money for himself, not for the benefit of the island, as he's always telling us,PKK has created a LOT of bad feeling.

He ousted a perfectly good, well established local business, making it's very hard working owners homeless in the process (and ridding Oatlands of it's most attractive and successful element, imo, but that didn't matter to him, what mattered was that not enough of that wodge was going directly into his pocket), replaced it with a poor replica with a far lesser menu and incredibly unhappy looking staff, and has made the place look a cheap version of a fairground.

He's also cocked a proverbial snoot at Envo on a regular basis, and continues to do so by using the planning laws to ensure this 'temporary' structure (which is always empty, for the record) stay firmly and permanently in place.

Does this colour people's opinion of Oatlands? Absolutely.

Is that the only reason they dislike it? Absolutely not!


I used to visit Oatlands regularly, but my impression is that over the last few years, it has been spoilt, especially in the courtyard.

Same as the bunker cafe at Pembroke which I so dislike, I will not frequent either establishment.


Agree with you on both counts JohnT.

Such a shame as both places have so much potential to become something worth visiting on a regular basis.

Oatlands has some beautiful buildings and features that deserve better. I went on Saturday (to Bish's) and the courtyard area is a complete mess now. Doesn't make you want to linger any more than you absolutely need to.

Pembroke is a prime site with an absolute cracker of a view over the beautiful beach, but seems to have been turned into a completely barren, unwelcoming eaterie with miserable staff and an equally miserable standard of food.