Fri 17 Aug 2018
No quick decisions will be made on the possible use of two Vale quarries for inert waste storage, States Trading Assets deputy managing director Richard Evans told this website, in an interview last week.
It is expected that full environmental impact assessments will be carried out on the former L'Epine and Guillotin Quarries by consultants Royal Haskoning as well as the coastal reclamation site, Longue Hougue south.
That independent review, costing around £400,000, includes looking at traffic, habitat, public health, access, plus the physical location of the sites, and will inevitably take time. 'We expect this to take a full year and so anticipate taking a policy letter to the States towards the end of 2019,' Mr Evans said.
He was speaking to the Vale Parish website because of the level of parish interest in the proposals and because concerns had been expressed that Longue Hougue Quarry, which lies between Bulwer Avenue and St Sampson's, would be a better location for inert waste as it would eventually yield land in an already industrial setting.
'With regard to the potential for Longue Hougue quarry to be utilised for inert waste, I can confirm that this was considered on the long list of potential options but was rejected, following a rigorous process. This quarry is currently a vital reservoir for water supply, as the single largest source of water supply in Guernsey.
'Les Vardes Quarry is not available as an option to immediately follow on from the existing facility and is currently allocated in the Island Development Plan and the Strategic Land Use Plan as a strategic allocation for water storage,' he said.
In response to questions, Mr Evans acknowledged that the situation was complicated because, 'on paper', reclaiming Longue Hougue Quarry appeared to make sense if it was as simple as swapping the water storage there for the potential storage at Les Vardes.
Separately, in a statement [below] Guernsey Water has responded to concerns that a 'leak' in Longue Hougue means sea water is entering the reservoir (it can, but is managed).
Mr Evans explained that Guernsey has a pressing need for storage for inert waste – although it actually has value – because it is currently producing about 58,000 tonnes a year, which is down from historic highs.
Les Vardes is currently being quarried by Ronez, so an early departure would mean it leaving behind extractable granite, which had economic value to the company which it would no doubt be reluctant to give away.
In addition, preparing Les Vardes for use as a reservoir and linking it to the island's existing water transfer system was a multi-million pound project that would need to be planned, funded and completed before any new reservoir could come on-line.
He added that Guernsey Water was also working on a water resource and drought management plan aimed at securing the island's water supply in the long term and taking into account the effects of climate change, so talk of releasing Longue Hougue Quarry now was premature.
Asked whether Longue Hougue does in fact experience sea water leaking into it, Guernsey Water released the following statement:
'We have had a geological survey done on Longue Hougue reservoir and at one end there is a small fracture that can allow seawater ingress into the quarry. However, this is managed by keeping the reservoir as full as possible so that the top pressure stops ingress happening.
'The reservoir has destratification [this is the mixing of air through the water levels of the reservoir], to make sure we do not get any thermoclines [layers of water at different temperatures] in the reservoir and that the water is well mixed.
'We analyse for chloride regularly and our analysis shows that there is no ingress that would cause an issue with the raw water being used for drinking water. Its levels are no higher than other stored waters we use across the island.'
Thu 16 Aug 2018
We were delighted the other weekend to play host to a young couple who celebrated their wedding with a reception under canvass in the field behind the Vale Douzaine Rooms.
Wed 15 Aug 2018
With debate continuing on Environment and Infrastructure's proposed speed limit changes on 80 island roads, many in the north of the island, a former Vale Douzenier has written to the committee with her views on the subject.
Thu 09 Aug 2018
Members of the Vale Douzaine have expressed concern over the proposed use of two former quarries in the parish for receiving inert waste from builders and contractors.
Mon 06 Aug 2018
Wide-ranging recommendations to reduce speed limits in the north of the island are so significant that they ought to be considered by the States as a whole, says the Vale's most senior deputy.
Wed 01 Aug 2018
Proposals by the Environment Committee to reduce the speed limit on more than 80 island roads including Braye Road and thoroughfares around the Bridge (pictured below) have been rejected by the Vale Douzaine as 'a waste of time'.
Sun 29 Jul 2018
Two quarries off lanes near Bordeaux used by walkers and cyclists are being eyed by the States as possible sites for disposing of inert waste construction and demolition material. They are L’Epine Quarry, which is owned by Guernsey Water and is currently used as a reservoir, while Guillotin Quarry is privately owned and also water-filled.
Wed 25 Jul 2018
A new issue by Guernsey Post features the Vale in no fewer than four of the six stamps it has just released. The accolade is all the greater because the release is under the banner of SEPAC, the Small European Postal Administrations Co-operation, and features this year's theme – Spectacular Scenery.
Mon 23 Jul 2018
Many people have commented on how beautiful the Bridge is looking because of all the flowers there and much of that is down to the Vale Floral Group and States Works, who do a fantastic job in planning and keeping the plantings in tip-top condition.