Call to permit alternative uses of empty warehouses

CHANGING the use of warehouses could fill empty industrial buildings, Martel Maides associate director Terry Gardiner has said.

Martel Maides associate director Terry Gardiner outside the former Healthspan premises in Pitronnerie Road. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1304579)
Martel Maides associate director Terry Gardiner outside the former Healthspan premises in Pitronnerie Road. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 1304579)

CHANGING the use of warehouses could fill empty industrial buildings, Martel Maides associate director Terry Gardiner has said.

There has been a large rise in the number of such buildings standing idle around the island.

The scale of the problem was revealed during a planning appeal to convert part of an industrial warehouse into retail at Lowlands Industrial Estate.

An Environment Department study followed 28 industrial premises that were being marketed in 2011. Of these, 12 had been available since 2008, 10 since 2009 and six since 2010.

Mr Gardiner was not surprised that some warehouses had stood empty for up to four years.

Comments for: "Call to permit alternative uses of empty warehouses"

becks

So why aren`t these large units split into smaller units to house "Fred in the shed" small businesses? No extra land needed and extra rents for owners simple isn`t it?

Maybe too simple for some.

Island Wide Voting

becks

It's probably something to do with the restrictive use categories placed on these buildings when they were given the original permissions, in some cases many years ago

Unfortunately those categories are often chiseled onto granite tablets and the Luddites in their comfortable jobs for life who work at and oversee the Environment department are so excruciatingly slow to react to changing circumstances,and put so many hoops,stifling red tape and high application costs in the way of tax generating entrepreneurs, that many good ideas are drowned at birth

Jimbo on another thread has suggested a short cut whereby TEMPORARY ( 2 year? )change of use permissions could be granted and if all went well and no disruption was caused to others nearby the permissions could be extended or made permanent accordingly

If Environment had the slightest inkling of business nous amongst their army of bottle fed for life staff Jimbo's 'Yes-We-Can'suggestion would be rubber stamped at the next coffee and biscuits meeting ... will it happen? .. will it hell!

A le Page

Couldn't have put it better myself IWV..reminds me of the German soldier who said 'sollten Sie diese Guernsey Primitiven wo sie sein sollten'!

Rustylink

Planing/Emvironment has a lot to answer for. Planing 'vision' combined with heritage 'comon sense' and building regs 'gold bricking' it is a wonder there are not more empty building standing empty and moldering in Guernsey.

Over the top exigencies mean wasted time, wasted money, and wasted oportunities.

Thanks to that fatal combination I am suspending the converion of a property into much needed airy modern apartments. A year has ben wasted, fees charged, costs inccured, and in what should be a simple conversion in an ideal building conversion, and dedevelopment has been rendered financialy imposible.

Need I say more? ... Little wonder we have a housing crisis.

Stiletto

@IWV

A great post, thanks for some good old common sense, which is a remote factor where Environment are concerned.

Rustylink

If there are known buildings like this standing empty, surely one could be adapted and used as a 'Startup Entreprneurs Hub'?

zab

Create a Lagan village in each and gain the time needed for Housing to achieve the critical mass needed to decide wether to push or pull their finger in order to free it.

Housing Crisis? Not at the Housing Department.

plp

Am I right in saying when horticulture nosedived the island was left with a load of greenhouses that gradually fell into disrepair and became eyesores, partly because change of usage was denied?

Now that the fulfillment industry has pretty much gone the same way are we going to see the same thing with these warehouses, or is someone going to have the foresight to see that times have changed and act accordingly?

A.J.

Well said 'pip,' my sentiments exactly.But if this means having to use 'common sense' I can't see it happening soon.

Island Wide Voting

21 February Press reports on yet another Environment decision overturned on appeal

It's probably a minute number in terms of how many applications go through the department each year but each wrong decision makes the headlines bringing the committee and by association the whole States into further disrepute

I doubt that the committee have much say or even knowledge of many of these poor decisions so it's probably a staff problem

Time for a question to the President at the next question time?