Leale's Yard funding uncertainty criticised

Sun 04 Feb 2024

Suggestions that some of the States’ funding earmarked for helping to kick-start the development of Leale’s Yard could be used for education purposes instead underline how unsatisfactory the whole regeneration project has become, according to Vale parish officials.

While the proposed requete from Deputy Taylor, to cut by half what the States might spend to get the housebuilding and flood defence scheme off the ground, hasn’t been discussed by the douzaine, some individual members believe it does highlight a number of the fundamentally unresolved issues related to trying to breathe new life into the Bridge area.

These included the nature of any flood defences, how they would address the concerns recently raised by the Guernsey Housing Association for Kenilworth Vinery, and the sheer volume of new homes planned for the North of the island.

“This is a puzzling move by Deputy Taylor,” said one douzenier. “Leale’s Yard is essentially self-funding apart from work government has to do in any event while a school will do nothing to regenerate the Bridge, accelerate the building of flood defences or resolve the island’s housing crisis.”

From a parish perspective, any further uncertainty about redeveloping the area was very unhelpful and would do nothing to improve facilities there, encourage the Co-op to press ahead with plans for a new supermarket and car park or attract new retail units to the Bridge.

The other aspect of the possible requete is that it affects just a small proportion of the number of new homes earmarked for the North.

In all, something like 1,000 properties are scheduled to be built in places like Leale’s Yard, Kenilworth Vinery and Fontaine Vinery, yet no real attention has been given to traffic and transport issues while the GHA had paused its own plans because of flood risks.

Any further uncertainty was very unhelpful.

Many agreed with Scrutiny Management Committee president Deputy Yvonne Burford when she said on Twitter/X: “This doesn’t make sense on any level. Not only is housing and Bridge regeneration vital and it must not be scuppered, it ignores the fact that the cost of capital invested in housing is covered by rental income.”


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