150-home Saltpans development permission criticised by Northern Parishes

Mon 11 May 2020

A decision recently announced by Guernsey's Development & Planning Authority (DPA) to clear the way for up to 150 new homes to be built in the Saltpans area has been robustly criticised by both the Vale and St Sampson's.

Officials from both northern parishes expressed disappointment that despite documented objections from the Douzaines, Planners had gone ahead and approved a planning framework for the Saltpans/Kenilworth Vineries area which significantly impacted the north.

"Once again our Planning Department have totally ignored the views of the tax- and rate-payers, along with those of a property owner of part of the site," said Vale Senior Constable Richard Leale.

"The sense of disappointment and being let down by the DPA is all the more profound because the Douzaine did indeed write and object to this large scale development when the powers that be haven't as yet even managed to get Leale's Yard* off the ground."

This was echoed by St Sampson's formal response to the draft planning framework when it went out to consultation: "Our first reaction is disappointment that the Development and Planning Authority continues to produce development frameworks despite the fact they and the States of Guernsey are aware the Island Development Plan needs an urgent review as it is currently not fit for purpose."

In the last 12 months they had been invited to comment on Pointues Rocques/Robergerie; Le Maresquet; English & Guernsey; Camp Dolent; Cleverleys; Richmond House; Les Bas Courtils; Saltpans; and Quantock Cottage, yet comments made in responses to those had consistently been ignored by The Development and Planning Authority, said St Sampson's.

Glossed over
Yet again, the traffic impact of such developments was being glossed over. Large scale house building virtually opposite Saltpans, at Tertre Lane, and the recently approved 29-home project at Cleveleys plus others in the area, would all push more vehicles onto an already saturated Braye Road – a criticism supported by St Sampson's.

That parish said making detailed comment to the DPA "seemed futile" but nevertheless stated:

  • The Island Development Plan cannot work in isolation and must have an infrastructure plan to work to.
  • The Island Development Plan does not prioritise developments so green field sites will be developed and brown field sites like Leale's Yard will continue to stagnate.
  • The perceived annual requirement for new dwellings is far too high and needs to be reduced.

The Douzaine concluded: "We believe the current Island Development Plan is causing long term irreparable damage to St Sampson."

Mr Leale said, "It really is time the DPA started listening to people in the area and recognised that the north is being harmed by overdevelopment and too much traffic."

"Fully considered"
In a letter to the Douzaine confirming that the framework had been approved, the DPA said that the comments expressed during the second consultation period mainly focused on housing density and the variation in the potential density; traffic generation and the impact of the development on the surrounding road network; infrastructure improvements; waste management and the potential for contaminated land; the need for an Environmental Impact Assessment; and a Green Industry Business Strategy for Saltpans.

It added: "All of the matters raised were fully considered by the Authority before the Final Framework was approved."

Mr Leale said that most parishioners reading that would conclude "full considered" actually meant "ignored".

* Mr Leale has no connection with or interest in the property known as Leale's Yard

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