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Castel deputies upset calls for open meeting ignored

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CASTEL deputies have expressed their disappointment that permission has been given for a controversial development to go ahead.

Owners Mr and Mrs Annegarn have been given permission to demolish La Roseliere on Route de Cobo and build a new dwelling.

They also applied to bring the field by the junction between Route de Cobo and the Cobo Coast Road into the domestic curtilage, to allow them to build a 0.9m wall around the boundary and give a clear divide between public and private space.

Richard Graham and fellow Castel deputy Chris Green placed a successful amendment to the Island Development Plan which prohibited development on the field that will be bordered by the wall.

The site was not included in the Cobo local centre under the draft plan, but the planning inspector recommended changing it and this led to the amendment.

Deputy Graham said that even though permission has included bringing the field into the domestic curtilage, he has been assured that the amendment still stands.

‘I have had a conversation with the senior officer in Planning, who assured me that extending the domestic curtilage of the house to include the corner field would not allow any more development on the field,’ he said.

He had raised objections to the development generally, however, and was disappointed that approval had been given without an open planning meeting.

‘There should have been an open planning meeting because of the prominence of the site and the interest, not just of Cobo residents but everyone on the island,’ said Deputy Graham. ‘I think it was a misjudgement of the authority not to have one.’

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A Planning Services spokesman said that while there were 26 objections to the original application, only seven were received for the revised plans.

But Deputy Graham said that did not necessarily indicate that the plans had more support than before. ‘I think some of us get worn down by [continually making] representations against successive applications,’ he said.

His main concern about the new wall is what impact it might have when the sea comes over the coastal wall during winter storms.

‘We shall continue to weigh up any proposed development around the perimeter of the field and we will watch with care when we have a storm,’ he said.

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Deputy Green said that he was surprised at first to find that an open planning meeting was not called given the contentious nature of the application.

‘I do note, however, that the original application was, in the end, subject to certain modifications which have proved to be more acceptable to the planners,’ he said.

‘In my subjective view, the revised development may still have a negative impact on the neighbours and on the traditional parish scene in general at the end of Route de Cobo.’

He added that although he might not like the decision, ‘the current planning framework appears, on the face of it, to facilitate what the applicants here want to do with their own property. Nevertheless, perhaps this ought to have been tested in an open forum.’

And, given that the amendment he and Deputy Graham lodged still stands, he did not expect any further development to take place immediately beyond the wall.

Another Castel deputy, Barry Paint, was also annoyed that no open planning meeting had been called: ‘I’m very sad it’s happened that way,’ he said.

‘We’d all asked for a public meeting and they decided not to have one. Why, I don’t know. The problem is that deputies have no power to do anything.

‘The only thing we could have done really was a requete but it’s too late now.

‘It’s a pretty poor show.’

He said parish deputies had offered support to the owner of a neighbouring property, who was particularly concerned about the impact of the development.

‘We could see the problems he has and is going to have,’ said Deputy Paint.

‘I don’t think I would object to a reasonable development [of this site], but I don’t think this one was reasonable.

‘I’m sad for the people [who opposed it], but I don’t know what else we can do.’

Comment Page 16

Mark Ogier

By Mark Ogier
News reporter

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