by Laura Bampton – Chair of Scientific Committee
At the April 2020 States meeting, deputies voted in favour of developing Spur Point for use as an inert waste site. Whilst this was disappointing news, the decision was not unanimous – 13 deputies voted against the proposals – and the fight is far from over.
Since April, La Société has continued to highlight our concerns regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for this site, as well as the process that led to this site being selected in the first place. We have met with politicians and members of the various government departments responsible for the inert waste strategy, and we have worked to educate members of the public on the significance of this site both for wildlife and geology.
In August, we held a public event at Spur Point, which all deputies were invited to. We set 90 scaly cricket traps the night before the event, which members of the public helped to empty and record the contents of. Approximately 240 crickets were found, primarily stage 3 and stage 4 nymphs. This showed, once again, that Spur Point is home to a healthy and dense population of this internationally vulnerable insect. We also led geology and archaeology walks, as well as holding talks on the marine biology of the area and answering questions from deputies and members of the public. The event was well attended, and many people shared our concerns regarding the development of such a special area of our island.
Fortunately, it is still a long time before any development will take place on the ground, and La Société has many opportunities to try and prevent, or at least modify, the current proposals. In addition, it remains to be seen how the recent change in government might affect the progress of this development.
The next stage of the process, which is currently underway, is the preparation of a Local Planning Brief. This brief is a plan that will be added to the Island Development Plan in order to allow this development to take place. The Development and Planning Authority have appointed LUC (Land Use Consultants) to prepare the Local Planning Brief, which is expected to be published in January 2021. La Société was invited to a virtual meeting with LUC as part of their pre-publication consultation, during which we outlined how valuable Spur Point is and some of the issues with the EIA.
Following the publication of the Local Planning Brief, La Société’s next major involvement in the process will be the Planning Inquiry. This inquiry is undertaken by an independent planning inspector, who will invite various stakeholders to make representations about the proposed development. If the plans are passed, they will be debated in the States at the end of 2021 according to the current schedule.
La Société is very grateful to everyone who has supported us in opposing the development of Spur Point, and we are hopeful that we may yet be able to influence this process. Keep following us on social media for all the latest updates. If you are not already a member of La Société, please consider joining and supporting our work.