Brewery go-ahead faces legal challenge

ANGRY neighbours say they might lodge a judicial review against the approval of a major housing development in Guernsey.

Residents of Havelet are not happy that the Environment Department yesterday approved plans for Comprop to build 33 homes there in place of the former Guernsey Brewery site. This picture is taken from the garden of Karen Bach, left, who says she will lose all of this view. With her is Cathy Couture, Alan Thoume and Richard Couture, right. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 128353)
Residents of Havelet are not happy that the Environment Department yesterday approved plans for Comprop to build 33 homes there in place of the former Guernsey Brewery site. This picture is taken from the garden of Karen Bach, left, who says she will lose all of this view. With her is Cathy Couture, Alan Thoume and Richard Couture, right. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 128353)

ANGRY neighbours say they might lodge a judicial review against the approval of a major housing development in Guernsey.

Residents living near the former Guernsey Brewery site in St Peter Port are considering court action after Environment yesterday approved plans to provide 33 homes there.

The unanimous backing of the plans from applicant Comprop for the site at the corner of Havelet and South Esplanade followed lengthy debate as residents made impassioned speeches in opposition to the build.

Among the speakers was housewife Karen Bach, 59, who confirmed that residents were considering a judicial review.

Comments for: "Brewery go-ahead faces legal challenge"

Geoff

Go for the legal action if you can and don’t worry about any one else’s opinion. I am sure some will comment here against this action but then it is so easy when it doesn’t directly affect you. Best of luck.

Ray

...and best of luck with the Advocate's bills

Woody

As a young person living on Guernsey struggling to find and afford decent housing, I'm absolutely fed up of the attitude of these sorts of people, the NIMBY generation. Imagine if people had this attitude in the past and had complained that the likes of Castle Cornet was not in keeping with the area so didn't get built. Guernsey wouldn't be what it is today and we'd all probably be stuck in the dark ages living in wooden huts if it wasn't for constant development and new buildings.

Personally I think the designs look great, very modern and refreshing. The current derelict brewery is an eyesore and a waste of the precious little space we have on this island, so building housing there is a step in the right direction.

Guernsey needs more housing to meet a growing and ageing population and the only way to cater for that is with new builds. Unfortunately that means we can't preserve everyone's precious views and the designs may not be to some peoples liking, but things need to be built and Guernsey needs to move on with the times.

Guern

Very well put, who has decreed that we are entitled to a view, having been up Havelet it would appear that the complainant, in the photo's house is gable end to the view anyhow so what are we complaining about a view from a garden, and if the photo is correct it looks like the garden is surrounded by a wall and taken from probably the spot where the view will be taken away.

As for one of the others in the photo he lives in a terraced house in Havelet currently with no views at all so what is his complaint.

Seems that people will just jump on the wagon.

No thought of those who will benefit from the work and the fact that what is an eyesore to the South of Town will become a tidy building again.

Remember all the fuss when the Royal and Savoy were knocked down, as you drive off the harbour what a good first impression of the Island these building now make.

Come on stop moaning and support those who are prepared to invest in the Island

Sugared Brazil Nut

Don't hold your breath on finding something affordable from this development. It's all about the money [returns on capital], not helping youngsters get on the housing ladder.

BTW - you're living IN Guernsey, not on it.

Beanjar

Woody, 'as a young person ... struggling to find and afford decent housing" you can forget about living here. What on earth makes you think anything they build in this location will be affordable? Once you do achieve a home of your own you'd better pray that Comprop or somebody else with 'mates in the States' doesn't stick a damn great eyesore between you and your view.

Woody

I'm under no illusions that I'd be able to afford one of these properties (I would love to though), but the more local market properties the better as this will hopefully free up other properties from those 'upgrading'.

Martino

Well said Woody. What a bunch of sniveling, selfish, self-absorbed nimbys. If they are stupid enough to go ahead with this spurious legal action I hope they lose shedloads.

DCM

Hi woody,

I fully understand where you coming from but this development won't make a blind bit of difference to property/rental prices on this Island, just as past developments haven't. Units will be bought up by landlords wanting to increase their property portfolio, many of these landlords are not local, some even leave property empty if they don't get a high enough rental return.

All you guys and girls who are struggling to find suitable property to rent/buy, become proactive, get together,use social networking to give yourselves a voice. Don't accept advertised prices, offer what you can afford, lobby all states members to introduce a rent act. Renting should be a viable affordable alternative to buying, its not at the moment, legislation needs to be introduced to force that. Lower rental income for landlords would make it less viable for them to buy housing stock on new developments. All this should be underpinned by a robust social housing program for lower income workers so we wouldn't have to employ so much immigrant labour.

I believe most of the problems where retail industries struggle can all be traced back to high rents and mortgage repayments, we don't have enough disposable income to support other commerce. In short it creates a cash flow problem for the rest of industry and society.

Toolbag

How about something radical, introduce a capital gains tax on all properties save those that are your principal residence.

bcb

Whilst i agree with the comments on here i just wonder how it would be if the views being blocked were that of the very rich in their big posh houses with housing designed for the plebs? would anyone even dare to suggest such a plan? maybe i`m just being sceptical? maybe it does happen already?.

markB

Good post Woody ... I wonder if the proposed property will be higher than what’s there already , if not then what’s the problem.

Guern abroad

DCM raises good points.

markB I expect that this new build will be higher. If it were not higher there is no arguement about a view.

Havelet Ghost

The only issue with this new design is that it will completely take away the view of the people involved. Pay Attention.

Sara Thompson

Well said Woody. Why can't these people accept the way the planning law works? They don't own the view. If the brewery building stays they'll be moaning about the rats in their properties next.

Devil's Advocate

Woody, are you one of the people that 'struggles to find housing' yet seems to find the funds to own a £5000 car, go out drinking round town every weekend and foreign holidays twice a year? If so, I suggest you wind your neck back in. The only way housing will get cheaper is if you reduce the demand by reducing the population. Building more will only result in more people, and as you well know, the only people that are building are wealthy people building for themselves or developers; and the latter only want to do one thing - make money!

Guern

Can I play Devils Advocate, why not reclaim Havelet bay, that will solve the issue of where tout our rubbish and who has view!

Ray

Talking about Devil's and Advocates,I don't think there will be very much mileage in taking the matter to Court

A few years ago the Bailiff lost part of his office view towards the East coast when an Advocate's firm added a storey to their building

DCM

Perfectly right Devils Advocate, if Woody is saving all of his money or spending all of his money on a roof over his head then there is none for me, the travel agent, the airline pilot,the car salesman,the hotelier, the barmaid. and we would all like a nice car, a holiday, a drink down the pub but were all being made redundant because What disposable income Woody has he is either saving for a roof over his head or trying to pay for it.

The rest of us in commerce and industry are suffering because of Greedy estate agents and landlords. The situation is being masked by cheap emigrant labour living outside the real Guernsey economy, very often in subsedised accommodation paying very little or no tax.

At the same time we in our 40s and 50s have our kids in their 20s and sometimes 30s living with us because they can't afford a roof of their own on what they earn, or worse they can't get work.

Recsession always starts with high property and high energy prices, government too slow to respond and ends with high unemployment.

I certainly don't agree that a working person should have to choose between affording a life or a home. There is plenty of wealth to go round now as there always has been, it just needs to be a little more evenly disstributed. In my view it is the job of government to ensure that it is.

I hope deputy Jones has a comment.

bcb

These are the kind of selfish idiots i just love to p@ss off. I hope there view is reduced to zero.

If they want a better view of the sea then i suggest they move to a place closer to it or preferably in it. (john cleese)not his exact words.

Radical

As mentioned in previous posts the issue shouldn't be whether development should happen or not, but how the development will help people like Woody. What percentage of the flats will be owned by buy to let investors and rented out to local residents at very high rates? Ideas:

Make the development for locals only (no licence holders / open market)

No second home owners allowed to buy

Make it a young persons development, i.e 50% of units have to be sold to first time buyers / those under the agre of 35

Stiletto

A view is very desirable, but it is not a human right. Maybe this prettily posing group should consider that they are but a short walk from what they can actually see from just this garden, it dosn't appear to be visable from their homes.

@SBN - 'BTW you're living IN guernsey not on it'. As far as I am concerned, I am living ON Guernsey not in it. Matter of choice really.

Gsyman

Guernsey, though small, is a country, therefore you live IN it. Would you say you live on Andorra or on Peru?

Pete

It's an island, noob....I live ON this island, country or not, ON an island...thanks

Gsyman

So you'd live on Australia, on Greenland and on Vancouver..

Ray

Ed

Step in and sort this out mate

bcb

I live onni Guernsey

Sugared Brazil Nut

INteresting edit of Woody's post at page 31 of the Press today. Seems we don't need Mr Logic (aka Ed).

Nathan

I agree, units need to be affordable to the islands young people.

How much do we expect them to earn?

Does £30,000 sound like an average wage? Well, even if you multiply that by 5 for a mortgage, you get £150,000.

Admittedly, if everyone partners up, they should be able to put down £300,000.

How many one bedroom apartments have you seen for less than £150,000 recently?

These luxury apartments will not fall within this price range. But at least they will have nice kitchens with nice taps. They'll be ideal, as long as you can get past the homeless local youngsters on the front steps.

sarnia expat

But..... if you bought a home which had a view already there, wouldn't you be pissed off if someone built in front of you? I would!

A.J.

Yes, they will be higher (by two stories)if the pics. are anything to go by.

No, they will not be affordable to your average Guernseyman,even to those who are able to sell their existing home to purchase one of these.

Some( who may be consided as reasonably well off) are already planning to move out from Apartments in Admiral Park for example.

Even if you have the funds to purchase one of these places,you have to consider the 'ongoing' CHARGES which do not start low and slowly increase, but can and will, start high and keep rising.

I can see many of these new 'Investments' standing empty for years to come,unless our States are prepared to put a stop to this. nonsense.

Les Pets

My arguement isn't about who can afford them but what complete idiot designed it. I thought modern architects would have a bit of imagination. Same old crap as admiral park . I think that the whole front facade should be retained . Surely an old building which is a GY landmark shouldn't be bulldozed and replaced with glass and a boxy facade. Sack yhe idc or at least find out if any of them will come out of this deal with a little thankyou...

Sugars Brazil Nut

Go and view the planning application info. The idiot responsible for the glass box idea is identifiable from that, and despite recent events (both commercial and personal) leading to changes in company name, personnel etc it's no real surprise.

Kittycat

I fully agree with this... If they could keep the original facade of the building and convert it into genuinely affordable housing, we would all be behind them. Why does it need to be any taller than it is anyway? It's like they're going out of their way to upset people.

And I really don't hold with this view that they would be in some way inhibiting progress by being more traditional. Some modern architects are capable of designing beautiful, creative buildings which are sympathetic to their surroundings. Many more are lazy and stick to building bland, utilitarian style boxes. Contemporary does not always equal good. St Peter Port is one of the most beautiful port towns in all of Europe in my opinion, but being so small that can easily (and irreversibly) be ruined by destroying iconic old buildings and replacing them with ugly rubbish.

Also, to all those labelling the above people as nimbys, consider how you'd feel if a development was announced near you that reduced the value of your property considerably. Add in that this is actually rather unnecessary and shouldn't have been given permission in the first place, considering the trouble us normal folk have in getting permission to, I don't know, build a conservatory. I know I'd be upset.

Ray

Kittycat

wwwguernseypropertyprices.com shows that the Brewery was sold for £1,835,400 in August 2007

Add five years worth of interest to that sum,add a six figure sum for architects fees,add cost of demolition,add cost of rebuilding and you would have to cram a hell of a lot of genuinely affordable flats in there just to break even

Kittycat

Sigh. Well if they're luxury flats then they could at least make them attractive and unintrusive, there's no need to upset the neighbours by making them taller then they need to be.

I just don't understand why they're not keeping some of the existing building - I can't think of anything cooler then living in a converted brewery! Far more interesting than living in another glass and concrete box. It's an old area of town too, I don't see how they can justify that as being sympathetic to the surrounding area. I wish they would think about something other than money, for a change.

KAREN

NOBODY DESERVES A VIEW ,THERE IS NO LAW STATING YOU CAN KEEP YOUR VIEW ,OR YOUR SKY ,SUN OR ANYTHING ELSE MY NEIGHBOUR SOLD HIS GARDEN TO DEVELOPERS SO THE VIEW I HAD HAS GONE I NOW HAVE NEW VIEW 88 HOUSES

Ray

Karen

Do you work in a Library and feel the need to shout after work?