Guernsey needs 451 new homes a year

AROUND 450 new homes a year are needed to meet Guernsey’s growing accommodation demands, according to a housing needs survey.

The Guernsey Housing Association’s development manager Phil Roussel and chief executive Steve Williams on the Bouet site. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1241672)
The Guernsey Housing Association’s development manager Phil Roussel and chief executive Steve Williams on the Bouet site. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1241672)

AROUND 450 new homes a year are needed to meet Guernsey’s growing accommodation demands, according to a housing needs survey.

That is a 50% increase on the States’ target of 300 new properties per annum, which the island has consistently failed to reach.

The survey, which is released today, shows that 451 new homes are needed each year for the next five.

Housing minister Dave Jones said the demand for additional units continued to grow thanks to an under-supply of new properties, exacerbated by a greater number of islanders choosing to stay in Guernsey.

‘The target is to build 300 new homes per year, but that’s not happened so the survey says that number should be increased,’ he said.

Comments for: "Guernsey needs 451 new homes a year"

concerned

Sorry to point out the obvious, but if you consistently failed to build 300 per year, what makes you think you can achieve 451?

Where are these 451 homes going to be built? We don't exactly have a lot of space. As far as I see it we have two choices, we build on green areas, or we build "upwards". Either of these will create controversy.

Dave Jones

Concerned

The alternative of not trying to meet the needs of those who require housing, is just more expensive Housing. By that I mean as the supply dries up the cost of renting and buying goes up with it.

As you say Land is the biggest problem but there are permissions for developments already given that have not been built which is not helping the situation.

Also having planning covenants on the Housing Target Areas will also make sure that at least some of the properties being built are what people can afford.

concerned

Dave.

Thanks for the response. So realistically we are never going to hit that number, and just use it as a target to aim for?

We do have an alternative, its expensive but I see it as the best alternative in order to meet future housing needs. Rather than build up, build out (into the sea). I know this has come up before, and received massive amounts of whinging from islanders, but its the best compromise as it increases our land mass.

Potential builder

Dave

I own an acre of land in a very built up area, I've never applied for permission to build because the costs of getting plans etc are so high. I'd be more than happy to have (say) a dozen or so bungalows built that could be occupied by older people who currently live in States houses that would be better suited to families.

Where should I go to investigate the possibility?

Ray

Potential builder

Flog the land as is via sealed tender or auction to established builders who are pretty desperate for such sites,and avoid all the planning hassle and costs

The big builders always seem to get what they want so they would likely have a much easier passage than you would

I believe sites without planning permission are often sold for a sizeable fee with more ( much more) to come once planning permission has been granted

You'd be hard pressed to beat the price of a plot paid in May this year.A house was sold at auction for 1.21M at Hougues du Noirmont Vale,much to the amazement of the crowd of onlookers,including me.I see in today's 'IDC' list there is an application to demolish it and rebuild!

Dave Jones

Potential Builder.

Do you mean 2.4 Vergees of land?

I am sorry to be pedantic; it is just my love of Guernsey land measurements.

You would have to start with planning and see what the land is zoned for.

I have just checked with the Environment Minister and there are no charges involved for advice only when you start to make the applications.

I hope that helps.

Potential builder

Dave

2.47 vergees yes

Ok I might give the people a call, I'd be happy to take a fraction of what building plots would be worth, which would be millions. It would give a dozen old couples the chance to live near the coast, within half a mile of Cobo's shops etc, at a fairly low cost to the public coffers.

Guern abroad

Sounds ideal to locate old people orientated housing so close to the centre of that area, but what control would there be to actually see that happen as once something goes control on it goes to?

Neil

450 houses? For perspective the Genats Estate has around 150 units.

So that's 3 x Genats Estate each year.

R Tristram

So now we know.It is the Islanders who choose to stay in their "Island Home" that are considered by the Housing Ministry an Exacerbation to its future plans.Perhaps Mr Jones (not a typical Guernsey name)should think before he speaks.

More Local Than You

Not happy with your dig at Dave Jones - he has proved himself to be a superb States member. One of the best and most transparent out there.

Being "local" shouldn't be about your surname or whether you were born in Guernsey - it's more about your contribution to life on the island.

That said, the housing problem and issue of population is a very difficult one to solve - particularly when the powers that be (i.e. Border Agency) have no idea who comes over here.

PLP

Being “local” shouldn’t be about your surname or whether you were born in Guernsey – it’s more about your contribution to life on the island.

I couldn't agree more.

Dani

The way I read it was he was just explaining why the target had gone up.

West

R Tristram

It was that same point "exacerbated by a greater number of islanders choosing to stay in Guernsey" that jumped out at me.

Guernsey's biggest problem and one that must be managed first, as all other issues such as the economy, social issues, infrastructure can only flow from it, is population. We do not have the luxury of "going for growth" as a previous chief minister proudly announced as we don't have the land to do it and going upwards is deemed unacceptable. Get population under control and manage it and all the other important issues be planned around that.

guern abroad

I agree with the post by West.

Population.

Right now today are we really saying that there are 451 houses worth of homeless people?

No so where are these people that 451 houses would home?

Then the further people for the 1804 new houses on top of that?

Zab

Guern Abroad

The inability to see the need for housing from elsewhere does not mean the need does not exist.

Terry Langlois

perhaps you should think before you type. He was merely describing the facts.

and before taking a pop at Dave Jones, have a long look in the mirror and ask yourself whether Dave Jones' little finger has given more in service of the community of this island than you will ever do.

Neil Forman

Very true Terry, Ray & More Local Than You.

Totally agree

snowman

its not only just speed here that is the problem, its the price - every new developement you hear of are new "luxury apparments" The Coupe in St Peter Port and the old madarin Garden site at Cobo are both wanted for this!

How about building some more affordable "family homes" or houses for the people starting out on the property market!

To buy a house at the moment (I would need a two bed place as I have a family) I need nearly £60,000 minimum deposit and then need to be on a combined income of £60,000 a year! Apart from the GHA's part rent, part buy scheme there is NOTHING to help first time buyers, Even Jersey has started a scheme to help first time buyers! The only way young people can get on the property market at the moment is by having the mortgage guranteed (and thet has to be the whole amount, not just a portion of it) or by having help from a rather well off memeber of the family (and even then if you tell the banks this is a loan they then penalise you and take it of the total amount they wil lend you)!

They dont care

Because the developers such as those doing Coupee Lane dont care about housing people, they just care about getting as much money as they can, it doesnt matter that a development is too big for the area its in, only that they will get a number of flats with great views and sell them for as much as possible!!

However as its in the urban area they can get away with it because they aint allowed to build in the rural area, for now. The law is being reviewed and its only a matter of time before the only place that isnt built up is next to the planners houses!

Dani

Snowman

Perhaps there could be tax incentives for private businesses to build homes suitable for first time buyers so more become available.

It does seem them are focusing on the luxury type of flat as I imagine this has the higher mark up which would make the decision straight forward to them to carry ont his way.

islander

Plenty empty shops in St Peter Port.compulsive purchase and build upwards for beautiful sea views.Bring in chinese builders labour,A 10 story block would be up in 2 weeks.Problem solved.

Local Resident

I couldn't agree more with Snowman, this is exactly the problem we are having, with one small child we need 2 bedrooms which we just cannot afford. We are now looking at the part buy scheme as the only way we can stay on the island. I have friends who have family here and have been here all their lives who now cannot afford to stay here and are going to have to move to the UK. Who is going to look after the current generation of 'mature' people if the younger generation cannot afford to stay!

we need more part buy schemes - this seems to be the only way forward for low earners with families.

Paul

In the Maldives, they constructed their international airport runway by reclaiming land by filling in between to nearby atols to make a new island.

maybe if we ask Lagan to reclaim land between Guernsey and Herm once they have finished the airport, this land could be used for cheap, sustainable housing. maybe call it the "Little Russell Estate"

kev

@ Paul

As that is where sewage gets dumped , it could be known as a toilet estate...

PLP

....or we could follow the UK and have a sink estate

Its obvious

Lets not avoid the elephant in the room, we do not need more houses, we just need less people!

I do not want our Island to just be houses interpersed with traffic jams!!

Gsyman

I agree, this is putting the cart before the horse.

Tackle the problem of ever-rising immigration first, then look at the prospective need for more housing.

Sanguine

On the one side Immigration would not be so high if the local Guern was not "above" doing the jobs the immigrants come over here for....

On the other would be if the local Guern could be bothered to get qualified and work in finance, which is another reason why there is immigration.

The island does not help itself...

Geoff

Snowman, local resident and others - some good points on the real issues here.

"Housing minister Dave Jones said the demand for additional units continued to grow thanks to an under-supply of new properties, exacerbated by a greater number of islanders choosing to stay in Guernsey." Is this the case or more down to the influx of newcomers coming to the island? That is the main reason not locals staying on island.

Vincent

My wife and I are currently looking at buying our first home. We would need around £40k cash, just to cover a deposit and legal fees, and then a mortgage of around £200,000 (which isnt easy on annual salaries of people in their low 20's), and that would be just to buy a relatively dingy little flat with no parking. The housing market in guernsey is geared towards the rich! We are both guernsey through and through and dont want to leave the island.

We have applied for GHA, and will find out within a couple of weeks whether we have a property, if we don't then we dont really have many options.... (dont mean to give a life story, just an first hand example of what a lot of people our age are going through)

Guernsey need to stop trying to keep the rich content, and support the younger generations!

The less houses that are built, the higher the demand, and the higher the prices... eventually driving people out of the island. Sad, but true.

Donkey's Wotsits

Sooner or later, we'll have to accept that demand can't be met - while we still have a natural environment preferably.

Radical

Hope somebody tells the planners as I imagine 450 new homes a year might not be 'in keeping with the local amenity' or some other response.

This will need joined up thinking if it is to work. Rather than just relying on large housing estates we should be encouraging / incentivising property owners to sell off their land for building development. Planning permission should only be granted if the Sates can buy the land at a discount, say 50%.

That way you a) allow people to cash in on land they currently own but cant build on and b) spread the new housing requirements across the Island (yes including the upper parishes!!)

And before anybody tells me that this may mean Guernsey has a few less fields in St Saviours - I don't care - I care more about the young people trying to live on this Island.

Ray

Perhaps Housing should ask the public to advise them of any long term empty houses they know of so that the reason for this waste can be looked into

Some owners will have very valid reasons but for those that may not,a quantum leap in TRP or even compulsory purchase may be the only way to bring those houses back into use

I know of one that has been left empty for at least ten years... The Shrubberies at Route Militaire GY2 4DX

There must be dozens of flats over shops in Town and on the Bridge which have morphed into storerooms ( possibly illegally) over the years

It's getting serious so it's time to take some serious action

L'eree Lad

Ray,

I can't imagine that many flats would be 'converted' to storerooms as it just would not make economic sense. Likewise, I tend to think that the number of properties left empty is overstated. It just wouldn't make sense when property currently has such a high value over here.

Harry

Could an IT/Internet savvy person create a Facebook page where people could post locations and pictures of all the vacant houses on our island?

Freezing Phil

Awesome idea Harry. Thought of doing something similar myself, but I have very poor web skills and wouldn't know where to start. Anybody else out there wont to give this a go? I can think of 6 houses off the top of my head that could be posted.

Herbert Roth

People have jumped at the 450 houses per year headline, but what about the detail of the survey itself? For instance it quotes over 5,000 people in Guernsey are long-term health claimants, that's almost 10% of the population! Is it possible to learn more details of this survey and perhaps even view it in full?

L'eree Lad

The full survey report can be accessed at

[url="http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=79858&p=0"]Housing Needs Survey 2011[/url]

They survey 1,511 households and then scaled their results up to an island-wide household estimated number of 25,000.

The main long-term health problems according to the survey were connected with mobility in old age. I don't think it states that nearly 10% of the population are long-term disabiliy benefit claimants as you imply. That would clearly be wrong.

L'eree Lad

Oh darn - someone please explain to me how to embed hyperlinks properly in posts on this forum ^^

Guern abroad

http://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=79858&p=0"]Housing Needs Survey 2011

I think it works without any html tags, we will see :)

L'eree Lad

Thanks - so for future reference do you just cut and paste the url?

Devil's Advocate

Increasing supply does not work because developers won't develop unless they can make a big wodge of money out of it. Building houses will simply result in people filling them up, then we'll be back to square 1. The only solution is to reduce demand by reducing population. It's no good saying that we need young people to work to pay the pensions of the old, because the pension mechanism is still the same and the young people of today will by the old of the future and we'll be back at square 1 again. Until we have effective population control we need to keep as many people out of the island as we can otherwise we're making a rod for our own backs.

Guern abroad

Exactlty! Post 15

Stop the spiral of population growth as it does not buy you anything but an increased need in the future and again and again.

We have to re-adjust how we live and our expectations and that may well mean changes in many areas.

Gilthead

There are several large hefferlumps in the room here.

But before them - do we really need that many new homes? Is the population of the Island really increasing that fast? Is it that the demographic is changing. Is it a result of the "Baby Boomer" generation? Perhaps Dave Jones knows.

Anyway back to the hefferlumps:

1 - to those wanting "affordable" housing. Bad luck I'm afraid. The absolute minimum new build cost will be ITRO £120 per square foot - add in the cost of the plot and you're way over £300k before you even start - and that's for a modest size home.

2 - our infrastructure is already creaking under the strain. More houses, more consumption, more everything. More money required to upgrade the infrastructure, more cost, higher taxes. A nasty vicious circle.

3 - more houses and people, greater urbanisation. This will push house prices higher in the more rural areas (that are left). Occupations like farming will disappear (no young farmer would be able to afford the land). And so on.

L'eree Lad

Agreed, such additional housing stock would represent a near 10% increase on the current number of households over the next 5 years (2,255 new houses when the baseline number of households in the survey is c.25,000).

I think I speak for the majority of Guerns when I say that the idea of such a building boom on our already relatively crowded, over-built-up island is unsustainable.

Surely the conclusion we should be reaching in these circumstances is that we need to intervene to avoid the demand that this survey implies rather than seek to pander to it?

Guern abroad

Exactly.

There are perhaps too many who benefit from a gravy train of continued growth be it population and/or house building to actually stop and think about what they are doing, as it is all very well saying for the next 5 years but if the train is not stopped that need will be compounded for the following 5 years and then compounded again for the 5

years after that and repeat infinitely....

We have to take courage now today and look at the real issue at root level and that is population levels and demographics and plan what can be sustained and work backwards.

slinky

Skyscrapers thats what we need.

Radical

I assume your comment was tongue in cheek but I actually think there is merit in building up. Why shoudn't Guernsey have higher rise buildings? This would lower the cost of housing in the Island, which has to be one of the priorities.

First we need to decide what we want, growth or keep the status quo in terms of population.

If its the former then why not create higher rise buildings? Why is this such a bad idea apart from because elderly Guerns don't like change? One of the reasons we dont have enough housing is because of all those Guernsey bungalows sitting on large plots housing two people. Knock them down and you could fit 3 or 4 modest sized units of accomodation.

Herbert Roth

Thanks for the survey link L'Eree Lad. And my reading of the long term health figures in the Press wasn't quite correct, we have 5,600+ people with long-term health problems not necessarily claimants. I stand corrected!

My first thought on the survery is that scaling it up (from 1,511 respondents to the 25,000 households we have in Guernsey) is asking for trouble, considering the results will be used to determine government policy. An error of just 20% could mean the difference between 360 & 540 new houses per year.

I am simply advising caution on the headline numbers we are seeing being bandied around.

John

Housing Target Areas have been earmarked since the 80's, I believe. Why have they not been used?

TED

There would be plenty of room for hundreds of houses Just fill in Belle Greve bay.On a serious note stop inward immigration and ban open market residents from purchasing local market homes which are lost to the local sale market. Please don't turn us into another concrete Hong Kong.

grumpy teacher

If the Housing Department thinks we need 451 new houses per year why is the Education Department still thinking of "primary school rationalisation?" (i.e. closing a primary school)

St Marcouf

In the absence of the States addressing the root of the problem by introducing birth controls and stopping the gruesome practice of paying people to breed, the answer is not to build any more houses at all.

Not only may this encourage people to exercise restraint in having children of their own volition, but it may also encourage more three generation households - the price to pay for those parents who wish selfishly to reproduce without a single thought of the consequences of their actions.

Medium G

What would happen to a polititian who just said no more houses, as the island is now full?

I suspect a proverbial lynching, after a Guernsey 'Sir Humphrey' whispers in his ear 'How brave'...

Seriously, though, someone has to draw a line in the sand for housing development soon.

Bry

Cor damme. How you gonna do that? You'll need to reclaim all the land between Guernsey and Herm. But you are too silly and shortedsighted to reclaim Bellegreve!

You are overbuilt already. What happens when the next World Depression arrives - like the 1930's. Most of the gardens and other growing land has already been used for housing so, when the banks all fail and your jobs are gone, how you gonna feed yourselves? You can't live from the sea because you have already overfished that and have done nothing about replenishment!

My advice: Emigrate while there are still countries accepting immigrants.

Magnus

With all due respect banning OM residents from buying local market property is not the answer as you would find that there are a number of LM residents owning properties at the lower end of the scale as part of their pension pots. Why put your money in the bank at dire interest rates when you can earn c.5% owning a LM flat?? All part of a wider economic issue and one which will not change for the foreseeable future.

Zab

I see the famous tricle down of wealth has been so successful that 58% of our households, not individualals have savings of less £10K and 30% have no savings at all.

What a fine state of affairs how proud our politicians must be!

Let us see who steps forward to bask in the Lime light of this achievement of such a fine example to the world of what a Low Tax Juristiction can deliver for its people.

No one

I would not worry to much. When the finance sector goes pop or is closed by outside influences I imagine there will be plenty of cheap houses available.

Of course there will be little work so no one will be able to afford said houses.

This is not a serious post of course.

islander

House Swapping to suit needs.

People need to down size.

Granny wings to care for the elderly.

House sharing,convertions.

Control Housing Licences.Cease for 5 years.

L'eree Lad

This.

One of the major drivers behind the survey's indigenous (as opposed to migrant)'demand' for new housing are listed as single individuals.

It certainly isn't efficient use of limited land space to build single bedroom properties. In any event, it turns out that most of these single individuals that 'need' housing fall into the social housing bracket.

This 'demand' is not real because the survey considers an 18 year old sharing a bedroom with a younger same-sex sibling to be 'over-crowding'. In fact, the survey acknowledges that many respondents (over 50%) they categorised as living in over-crowded accomodation thought their living space was 'about right'...

If 18 year olds think they are entitled to independent living space subsidised by the State then I suggest that they need to be introduced to the real world. The problem is that, judging by the terms of reference of the survey, it may just be the 'so called experts' who are giving them this impression of entitlement?!

A.J.

Too many Cuckoos still arriving daily to replace locals, who have been forced to leave for greener pastures.

sarnia expat

Too many old Guerns in the 1950s and 1960s who sold out their birthrights to those nasty old planners. Yes, to make a bit of money caw la.

Sanguine

Lazy locals who wont do the work on the island. Just so you get that right.

Dismayed

One of the few perks left of living in Guernsey is that it is still a relatively 'beautiful place to the live'. I have never been to a city or built up urban area and described it as 'beautiful'. More and more flats are popping up everywhere you look to accomodate young professionals who move to the island but where do they go when they want to move into a family home? Freeing up green/brown belt land for even more housing is a sad solution to the island's population problem. In my opinion.

Herbert Roth

TED - Totally agree with what you said.

MAGNUS - Assuming your comment was directed at Ted, he suggested preventing OM residents from buying LM houses, he didn't say anything about LM residents owning a 2nd LM property.

By the way, has anyone noticed that the survey which has sparked this debate was done by a company based in Swansea!

big al

451 homes needed each year for the next 5 years!!!!! Where will these 2255 new homes be built????!!!!???

Guernsey Gal

I'm sorry to point out the obvious, but instead of building all of these new homes, surely we should be looking at reducing or stabilising the population? Guernsey only has so much room to build on, do we want to overdo it? I for one don't!!

Paule (Guern in UK)

Guernsey Gal,

Totally agree with you there about stabilising the population.

I come back at least twice a year and love the island where i was born and raised.

I see more change everytime i come back and i do not want to see our beautiful island used for high rise buildings and cramming people in without control over how many people live and work in Guernsey.

Put locals first please. I cannot afford to buy in Guernsey, i bought my detached 3 bedroom bungalow here in Norfolk for £125,000 over four years ago, the value has actually gone down, it is sheer madness in Guernsey with the housing cost and rents.

Please do not spoil our Lovely island.

CameraShy

The first thing that needs to happen is a census. Twelve-year-old data is not reliable. Then, when we know what the make up of the population is, we can formulate an appropriate plan.

PLP

Well said CameraShy. In a small island like Guernsey it is critical to keep tabs on population demographics. The UK usually has a census every 10 years, a small island like Guernsey should have one at least as frequently, if not more often.

CameraShy

More often, I think. Every five years would be prudent, making it easier to keep tabs on how many people coming in on three- and five-year licenses have married and settled down here during that time.

The time between censuses (censi?) would be short enough for Housing to take the necessary measures, ie. suspend the issuance of non-essential licenses, so that it actually has an effect BEFORE things get out of hand. It would be pointless trying to control numbers once they'd exceeded what this small island can comfortably accommodate.

The big question is, of course, what do we want to cap the population at?

Watcher

Camerashy,

With the existing information available within the States system there is little need to take a census on a regular basis.

Why ? Simply because the States know who is working in the Island from the Social Security records, who is an OAP from those same records, how many children at school from the Education records and how many babies are born each year from the Health records. They also know how many people are receiving Child Benefit. All that information added together gives a realistic idea of how many people are in the Island. It is really only in the last ten years that this information has become easily available with the modern computer systems able to provide such information on the press of a key rather than relying on busloads of paid census enumerators spending weeks visiting homes around the Island trying to capture the details of everyone present on a certain day. The total cost of the last census was significant and I seem to recall the Census organizers admitting to an accuracy level in the traditional style census of plus or minus 0.5% which on our current population means plus or minus 300 people.I admit some black economy workers may not be paying Social Insurance but do you really believe those same people would fill out a census form when they know the only way they can carry on is if they remain below the radar?

One of the reasons we need so many more houses is our very high divorce rate which means that couples split up and BOTH require a home.

Ray

Watcher

Good post which just about says it all

Re the computer data held by the various States bodies have we got over the ridiculous situation whereby everybody was so scared of the over-hyped Data Protection law that they refused to share this vital information ?

West

Referring to my post above regarding population control first and foremost, I see todays UK headlines read:

"Curbing mass immigration could bring down house prices, Theresa May says. Mass immigration needs to be curbed to bring down house prices, improve wages and reduce the benefits bill, Theresa May has said. House prices could be 10% lower over 20 years if the Government cut net migration to zero, Mrs May, the home secretary, said."

guern

The posts are getting to the real problem - over population. We have more than 50% extra people than there were at the outbreak of World War 2. Unsustainable increase. Any ideas anyone? Stricter immigtation? 1 child a family? Deportation for criminals? Any plan will need to be hard by its nature and for its goal.

random

Ok so you're proposing the following:

1 child per family:

So a couple accidentally conceive a second time - They get offered abortion or deportation.

Deport criminals:

40mph in 35 - deport.

Cyling with no lights due to batteries running out unexpectedly - deport.

Cycling on pavement - deport.

driving on the pavement - deport.

Drunk in public - deport.

Reminds me of the nazis and cor blimey we'll have nobody left.

PLP

Driving on the pavement? That's all the bus drivers gone then!

Guern abroad

The nettle for post 36 might be that there is more economic growth then there are local people on Guernsey already to fill those roles. There are not that many unemployed if we go on the figures being spouted to fill that growth.

Puting that side I think it is expectations that need to change (plus population control).

That is kerb single occupancy living.

Support partnerships to reduce the amount of breakdowns and family splits.

Make it socially acceptable (like when we were growing up) to share bedrooms.

Encourage the older geneeration to downsize and free up family homes.

Limit planning approval for major extensions and/or knock downs on existing properties as we are loosing a % of the small propety house stock to being over developed.

Bring in the idea being muted of convenants to make any new builds have a % of affordable housing stock.

Make it so that license holders have to own a property for 5 years and a day before they can sell and keep any gains. This will kerb specualtion buying and help stablise prices.

Make it so that for locals it is 3 years and a day before you can sell a property and keep any gains.

The island's population has to be controlled.

Backchat

How can this be?, we have just been told by the states that the population has not changed much from sixty five thousand,

Of course we all know it has, must be around eighty five thousand now to be honest,

if you count the people living and working over here illegally it will be higher still

So all states members please stop telling us what you would like us to believe the population is, as I and I'm sure many others find it insulting to be fed such rubbish,

the sooner you admit the true figure the sooner you can start to control it, that is of course if you really know the true figure & if you don't I and many others won't be at all surprised

How can you plan the cost of anything if you don't know how many people are living in the Island, the current problems with the cost of healthcare is a prime example!

Bry

Here's a good wheeze: Get rid of 99% of motor cars (use ém for landfill in...oops you know where) and then set up a little railway right around the Island. You can then use the surplus roads as building plots.

Cor damme, I like it me, eh?

Ray

Get some sleep Bry

Bry

All you other letter writers, for goodness sake stop talking as if the island is expanding (getting bigger?). It's only the population that is doing that. Guernsey has been overpopulated for the las 30 years.

Phil

Bry

Have you not heard of land reclamation?

Herbert Roth

Like many topics on here, we go round and round in circles and always end up in the same place: Belgrave Bay.

It's time people accepted the inevitable. Guernsey needs more land to progress, it is the only way we are going to guarantee the future of our island without building skyscrapers.

Really

Why not fill in Perelle instead?? Similar rocky beach with similar amount of boats moored, just on the other side of the island. Why always focus everything on St Sampsons?

slinky

Because filling in Belle Greve bay would improve it as its a dump already.

Really

Well it looks quite nice at high tide from my window at work, specially this morning seeing the sea come over, where would all that sea water go if you filled to place in anyway?

Its a dump because the north has always been used as the dumping ground for the island. I cant see that 400 odd poorly built houses would look any better to be honest.

Eugenics sounds like a much more feasable idea, either that or some discounted one way "adventure holidays" to switzerland

Ray

Herbert

Don't frighten the horses with the word 'skyscrapers'.Cour du Parc isn't overly imposing and provides 40 / 42 flats

Four or five Cour du Parcs on States land at the Belgrave site off Track Lane would cut into the housing shortage

Land reclamation,wherever it is,would take at least ten years and would probably entail importing infill materials at great cost

I know high rise has a bad name because of the way some of them are portrayed in films or TV but they don't HAVE to be lawless hell holes

If Jersey Nige is reading this perhaps he can comment on how the Jersey high rise blocks have fitted in down there.For instance are they all States rental flats or in private or partial ownership? How are they perceived by their neighbours etc ?

guern abroad

And then what when those houses are filled after you reclaimed which ever bay it is, you fill another bay in and build more houses. How many times do you repeat that cycle before you decide to face dealing with population control?

Devil's Advocate

Well said G.A. - reclaimed land always gets filled up and more is demanded. People need to realise that economic growth isn't essential or even desirable.

tina

Msg 33,Guernsey Gal..Population Control!or EUGENICS to give it it,s proper name. Supported by Charles Darwin,Advocated by Enoch Powell and Revered by Adolf Hitler.Just how would you go about it on Guernsey ?

Guern abroad

Population control can be by various means, no one is suggesting Eugenics, more social conscience.

1 - manage how many people seek to live in Guernsey from outside.

2 - responsible family management, i.e. a home of two people having two children is population growth neutral. Obviously balanced out by some having one and some having three etc. We all have a responsibility as to how much a demand we put on this planet in our own life time and large families will obviously have an inpact where ever we live on food, housing, infrastructure etc.

bcb

And Winston Churchill i believe? But Ed is right about Darwin and i think he only used it as an analogy to natural selection.

A.J.

Stop any more Cuckoos from landing,would be a start

Ed

Tina

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe that Charles Darwin explicitly supported eugenics. What I know is correct is that Darwin's theory of 'survival of the fittest' became distorted by academic racists of the late 19th century- who invented what was known as ''Social Darwinism'. The theory then became the foundations for fascism as leaders such as Hitler, not only fed upon 19th century nationalism, but used such 'scientific theories' to explain that the prosperity of the Aryan race was being hindrered by the presence of 'alien' breeds.

Anyway,are you advocating this idea ?

tina

ED, absolutely not, I was asking Guernsey Gal how She would go about "Controlling Population".As I see it we have Two choices,make immigration far more difficult for "would be" settlers ( tax Exiles) or "CAP" immigration annually to a pre- determined number perhaps 0 to start with :]

Don't-do-as-I-do

How about the States set a better example in terms of appreciating the effect immigration is having on our island my importing less civil servants?

I can immediately think of two brought in over the past six months for relatively pedestrian posts who have successfully taken two local houses and increased the population by eight people.

...dare I say it, one of them is an HSSD accountant...did we really need a genius like this specially imported...?

Neil Forman

Agree again Scarlett.

A.J.

Response to(46) No we don't, but someone somewhere has the say on these matters and our Deputies should know who this is.This problem has been ongoing for many, many, years.Some have arrived with credentials so good that we 'had to' employ them only to find within a short space of time that they were totally useless, and had to rely on local expertise to support them until finally getting rid of them. How? Simple. By sending them off to some other innocent party with a glowing report full of lies.

kat

What we have to remember is those new builds we are doing now replaces those that have been taken out of the system,

I have seen homes going up so fast it reminds me of the panic build we din in the late 60s

the Old grand Bouet was built to help with housing shortage,

this was demolished ,and replaces with new homes ,but how long will these last.

we are building wooden houses that will not stand the test of time. will they still be standing in 100 years time?

I don't think so.

I do hope they will stand the test of time or we will have to find another x amount of millions for a rebuild later .but i will not be around or will many of out deputies

we need to build for tomorrow and not just for today.

We also need to build homes that will be suitable for families that are big enough to actually live in with some furniture

some places I have seen are so tiny there is no room to move.

These homes are build instead on one house they build 3 units instead

It is about time health and safety said people need more room to be able to live properly.

Yes we have a land shortage but we do have many many none locals who are living here .you cant blame them as it is such a beautiful place to live .

Dave Jones

Kat

You are wrong about the new builds, they are designed to last 70 years plus

The new building regs are light years ahead of what they were when the old Bouet estate was built.

Also these are built to life time standards which means that they are designed so as you get older you don't have to move, with proper wet rooms and wider doorways as standard, solar hot water heating and really high levels of insulation to cut down on heating bills. Some of them are timber frame but built to a very high standard, with the timber being treated against all the things that have caused problems in the past. They are not wooden houses as you describe.

Many of them are replacement homes to those that were demolished that is true, although the 80 at the old bus garage site are additional and we have made several gains on the other sites

As far as size of units, we have built what the previous Housing needs survey indicated was needed.

Some of course are partial ownership homes which has helped people onto the firs rung of the property ladder.

We have only just started and we are 10 years into a 30 year programme we need many more social rental houses and flats but our biggest enemy at the moment is land.

kat

Thanks for the information.I do have a family member who at last is able to get onto the property ladder

the housing have work close with the GHA for many years now and we can see the results.

Yes land is much needed and there is now extra land use at the old longfield centre being reused

these plans are excellent as it give space inside and out and like you say is updated to a high standard

It is also a shame that SOME tenents do not look after their properties like they should and SOME will abuse this .

I myself look forwards to being able to go into a house that will suit all our needs .

Well done to housing and thank you for your reply. but in 70years time will the same situation arise?

will the homes the youngsters have brought be no use and have to be rebuilt?

I do hope the wood that is used is fire proof ?

As when i spoke to a worker at the site he told me they would go up like a box of matches . this did not give me much hope in them .

Perhaps this could be said in a press and media report? As i am sure it would comfort many who have also been told this .

A.J.

No Dave, I think our biggest enemy is an expanding population

Dave Jones

AJ

I think you are right, which is why we are putting together a new permit system

The Housing licence system only controls about seven percent of the population and we need a system that manages all of it.

Of course the make up of the islands population is also hugely important if our Social Security contributions are not to go through roof, then we need lots of young economically active people moving through the economy to pay the pensions of an ever growing number of people eligible for them.

St Marcouf

And what then happens when all the countless young economically active people and their children become of pensionable age?

I suspect your figure of 7% is misleading because (a) I doubt it includes the many thousands of people living with licence holders as members of their families who do not require housing licences, and (b) it won't include the many thousands of former licence holders and family members who have qualified as locals and therefore now fall outside the housing licence regime. In which case the true figure as to the percentage of the population which the Housing Law controls or has controlled is probably more like 25%.

Guern abroad

The proposed permit system from the population survey would require a peice of paper for every single person on the Island so we would know exactly what is what re figures.

Guern abroad

The pension situation will level out but only if it is allowed to by accepting that there will be a short peak in the ratio of pensioners to working population but then the status quo will be attained.

If people keep pushing we need more young/influx because of the increased pensioners you are creating a snow plough affect and pushing the problem into the future but at the same time making it bigger.

On the upside the current younger generations are so much sicker then the current pensioners that there is the potential that there wont be the same pension pull as there is now just an increased health care bill!

Bry

Phil, you don't read much, do you? I've been advocating land reclamation for probably longer than you have been born. And I don't mean taking land from growers and farmers to turn into building sites!

You lot are always moaning about there being not enough houses but every time someone comes up with a land reclamation scheme you go on the march with your silly little placards and shout the idea down.

Sure there are a lot of problems (questions) about housing, but the answers are there too:

Stop immigration - reduce the population and reclaim land from the sea! Killing two birds with one stone: getting rid of a third of all private cars will induce many people to leave the Island for foreign parts.

Phil

Bry

I think Ray is right, you need some sleep.

Longue Hougue, North Beach, heck, even the Braye du Valle, are you old enough to remember those? I don't recall anybody marching to object to those reclamations, do you?

Once you've had a kip try taking some tablets as well, your harebrained ideas aren't even worth consideration.

kat

I was one who have march to stop them reclaiming land in belle greve bay

this is the wrong side of the island to reclaim

use the west coast for a change .the views from the east is fantastic and the land is over populated .use other part to reclaim and while you are st it build more decent schools as we are running out of space as the more homes we have the more children we have .

it is a growing factor we need more of everything

or bye like china and make sure one child per family .

PLP

kat - Each to their own opinion but if it's going to happen I would much rather see Belle Greve reclaimed than any of the west coast. Its beaches are used by far greater numbers, it's invaluable to our already struggling tourist industry - few of whom I'll wager are attracted to the island by picturesque Belle Greve. It is also an outstanding area of natural beauty, a priceless part of our natural heritage and should be protected. Out of interest, which part would you consider reclaiming?

Oh, and by the way Belle Greve is within visible distance from where I live so I'm certainly not a west coast NIMBY!