As you are probably aware, the States Policy & Resources Committee (P&R), in its search to provide accommodation for staff, proposes to build at least two 4-storey accommodation blocks with extensive parking in the beautiful 10 acre field known as the Valley Field (officially: Le Bordage Seath) to the West of the Hospital approach road from Le Vauquiedor, (Rue Mignot).
This superb field (see attached Steve Falla photograph) is designated as an Agricultural Priority Area and it has required a special, political ‘device’ in order to break open the Planning Law and Island Plan. P&R has attempted to declare the plan a “Strategic Emergency” using Policy S5: Development of Strategic Importance.
Islanders can fully understand the need to provide accommodation for such staff, deemed “Essential Workers” and in fact there are proposals to include such housing in other developments.
The first concern of La Société is the unnecessary damage to Guernsey’s environment this will create. The Committee for Health & Social Care listed 7 agricultural fields in its first 9 site suggestions! There are a number of redundant greenhouse sites nearby including several in Pointes Lane and a number of former hotels, such as in Ruette Braye and Les Merriennes. Potentially suitable sites are also found more widely across the island.
If you feel that the proposal to develop this green field is wrong, will you please write (preferably) or email the Planning Department with your objections to the use of this field and any better options you may consider helpful.
Of course La Société will also write, detailing the consequences of building on this field to flora and fauna, but there can be no doubt that individual representations are the strongest influence in the history of local planning.
You can see the application here: https://gov.gg/liveplanningapplications
Please write to:
The Chief Planning Officer, Sir Charles Frossard House, La Charroterie, St Peter Port, Guernsey, GY1 1FH
If you cannot write, then email to: email@example.com
Please ensure that your correspondence includes the following information:
- Your full name and postal address.
- Your email address or telephone number
- The Planning Application reference number: OP/2022/2321
- Address of the Application site: Le Bordage Seath, Rue Mignot.
You may wish to consider the following regarding the environment and planning law:
- Whether the development of this field can be considered as a ‘Strategic Emergency’ under Policy S5 when alternative sites exist elsewhere.
- Whether the further loss of agricultural land, designated as an Agriculture Priority Area is acceptable, as it will place the local farming industry under greater pressure to manage remaining land more intensively.
- Whether this land can be feasibly developed without causing significant environmental damage, particularly as the local Strategy for Nature (2020) requires development to achieve net biodiversity gain
The 21 day public consultation phase has been determined, please get your representation in by 10th January 2023.
Président de La Société Guernesiaise.
PS: If you copy me with your submission (enter firstname.lastname@example.org under Bcc), I will be able to consider its contents in confidence and possibly be able to add valuable points you have made to any representation La Société may make.