Fri 01 Sep 2023
Richard Leale made his comments after attending a meeting called by GEL to outline its reasons for seeking to shut the road on security grounds and which was attended by nearly 40 parishioners and interested people.
"I think even GEL would accept that it struggled to make its case to those present," said Mr Leale, "especially since a quick look at its estate (pictured above) shows how many other points of access would remain unsecured even if the road was shut."
He said there was quite a strong feeling in some quarters that closure amounted to a "land-grab" while others were concerned about the loss of car parking in Vale Avenue every time diversions were put in place. "When the possibility of road closure came up some years ago, we were quite open with Electricity that shutting Hougue Jehannet would represent a loss of amenity for the parish and, while not necessarily opposed, a discussion on replacing that loss, or mitigating it somehow, would be useful.
"It's a matter for Electricity, clearly, but it's pretty obvious that the Bridge area lacks car parking, particularly at peak times, while GEL's estate has a lot of unused space, notably off Vale Avenue, where the old terrace of houses was demolished.
"My view is that it offers scope for temporary parking, at least until the multi-storey park planned for the Leale's Yard regeneration project is available, and doing that might well alleviate some of the objections to closing Hougue Jehannet."
Mr Leale said he would be happy to meet GEL to discuss this and take soundings from parishioners but he had heard nothing since the meeting to suggest that opposition to the proposed closure was lessening.
The next step is for the Constables to call a public meeting at the road to further consider closure and then prepare a report for the Royal Court, which will make the final decision.