Tag "Environment Department"

Time for the truth about bus drivers’ ‘dangerous’ hours

I SEE evidence circulating on Facebook that suggests CT Plus bus drivers are still commonly working very long shifts – 11, 12 and 13 hours were the sorts of times documented. These driving hours considerably exceed what is considered acceptable in either the UK or Europe. There is a very good reason why these sorts of hours are not allowed – they’re dangerous.

Greenhouse problem must be addressed

THE new Island Development Plan will shortly come before the States of Deliberation for consideration. Guernsey is an island with scarce land resources and has historically developed in a dispersed settlement pattern. The Island Development Plan has failed to address the redundant glasshouse issue and this failure will serve only to perpetuate the visual harm caused by numerous redundant glasshouses across the island.

Inflexible? Planners have bent over backwards for Le Hurel developers

FAR be it for me to gainsay an eminent advocate, but I must disagree with Deputy Ferbrache in painting planning officers in the Environment Department as being ‘inflexible’ (Guernsey Press, 11 August). In our dealings with them we have found that in their interpretation of the Rural Area Plan they are incredibly (as in, ‘I cannot believe that they have done that’) flexible. The current Rural Area Plan’s raison d’être is to protect the countryside from development except where vital infrastructure is absolutely necessary. There is a very narrow exception to this overriding aim and that is when genuine ‘social housing’ is concerned. (The RAP actually states that it must be ‘genuine’ – i.e. it recognises that there might be – horror of horrors – ‘bogus’ social housing.)

L’Ancresse Common in disgraceful state

FOR THE last two years I have made my thoughts known about the condition of L’Ancresse Common. This will be my last comment, as like many other writers to your column, we are hitting our heads against a brick wall. I for one like to keep our island neat and tidy, but when you are confronted with committees like the Commons Council and the Environment there is not much chance of you getting anywhere. Last year, I made my thoughts known to George Domaille and he did his best to rectify my complaint. This year, now that we have a new committee, things have gone from bad to worse. Having phoned the Environment Department twice to ask when they are going to cut the paths, as they are 5ft high, and crossing the path. To date nothing has been done. I have phoned two deputies, they haven’t done much. I with others have complained so much that we are fed up.

New States system leaves a lot to learn

IN AN island where many still think of ‘the IDC’ as their planning authority some 12 years after it was scrapped, the next few months promise to be a steep learning curve. The Environment Department has gone, unlamented by many but at least its functions and responsibilities were understood by most. In its place come at least four bodies with partial ownership of the brief.

Emissions tax has nothing to do with improving our air quality

SOME while ago the Environment Department, led by Yvonne Burford, proposed the introduction of a vehicles emissions tax. In its plans, the idea was to discourage people from purchasing larger polluting vehicles and instead encourage people to either travel by bus, take up cycling or use a motorcycle. The thinking was, that two wheels are better than four and it would be a way of helping to increase the flow of traffic, less traffic jams and to also reduce the amount of cars parked on the piers. With all the amendments made during the long drawn out debate it ended up with all motorcycles over 501cc having to pay an emissions charge.

Island’s leaders have left us in a mess

I AM writing this letter to vent a few personal views, especially before the island goes out to vote. I urge all who are going to venture out to vote to really consider what mess our island is in especially after the last four years of leadership. What a legacy they have left us. Far too much to put into print. We have been taxed more than the Sheriff of Nottingham did to the people of Sherwood and we have no Robin Hood to save us. Mind you, I would not put it past some candidates to turn up in green tights with a bow and arrow.

How did project get planning approval so fast?

RE: THE Weighbridge House planning application. Isn’t it marvellous how some people/companies can get their applications through a department so quickly, whereas the ordinary man who tries gets refused, put back, referred to other departments, all to no avail.

Is now the time for an expensive review of island’s housing stock?

I read with dismay the article that appeared in your paper on Wednesday, 20 January. Nearly 1,600 properties are already listed and it is proposed to review up to another 5,000. Given that the Guernsey annual housing stock bulletin issued in March 2014 stated that there were 26,372 domestic property units, which means that there are fewer buildings, given multi occupancy, this means that the Environment Department are looking at well over 25% of our housing stock.

Pollet plans: What exactly is the point of planners?

I listened with interest to Deputy Burford’s comments on the phone-in on Sunday (31 January) regarding development at the Lower Pollet. Like many islanders I am appalled at this proposal. Potentially three diverse locally owned tax paying businesses (and a convenience store) could be destroyed, and replaced by a large supermarket that will be part of a UK multinational.

Land plan will span two different boards


PROPOSALS for a new land plan, which will affect all future developments, will be finalised by the existing Environment Department board, but its successor will have to present the report to the new States.

The bar is set high for environment

NO ONE is against biodiversity. Unlike climate change, even on the far fringes of scientific opinion there is nobody arguing that we need fewer species or less attention paid to the damage humans are doing to the world. So when Treasury and Resources says it cannot support spending £80,000 on a biodiversity strategy no one should accuse them of being anti-environment.

No evidence that St Martin’s houses are ‘much needed’

DEPUTY HADLEY’S blasé dismissal of the concerns of local residents was wrong to repeat Island Development Ltd’s assertion that their proposed development on land behind Les Galeries conforms to States policy (Open Lines, 2 October, 2015).

Locals without a bus due to cruise passenger day-trips

I WAS talking to a neighbour who was absolutely fuming last Friday. She had gone to the Bridge for some shopping and she waited 55 minutes for a bus back to L’Ancresse. The round-the-island bus arrived, full to the brim with cruise passengers on their ridiculously cheap £1 island tour, heavily subsidised, of course, by the Guernsey taxpayer. This was followed by the number 11 I think it was, which was also full. Many people on board were holding their Guernsey maps, so presumably also cruise passengers.