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Pointues Rocques draft approval ‘deeply tyrannical and unjust’

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THE Delancey Conservation Committee has described a decision to approve new planning guidelines for Pointues Rocques as a ‘travesty of democracy’.

The 2017 Delancey Conservation Committee protest march against property development in Pointues Rocques. A decision to approve a draft development framework for the area has been described by the group as a ‘travesty of democracy’. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 24211363)

A revised development framework covering the site near Delancey Park says that between 75 and 125 dwellings could be built, down 25 on what was originally indicated after public concerns.

In an email to States members by committee member Dr Carmen Wheatley, it said that approving the plans without addressing any of the conservation issues, traffic hazards, or many other legal issues raised was proof that ‘we no longer live in a democracy’.

‘To say the community here is angry, deeply frustrated, depressed, and wondering to what avail is all the time, energy, money and other resources that we have all invested into trying to change our future, would be an understatement,’ she said.

‘This outcome comes across as deeply tyrannical and unjust.

‘We have the message that all that we do towards the future is pointless and that we are powerless.’

The email included the committee’s photographically documented representation on the draft development plan, which it said has been singularly ignored and overridden.

In the representation it said that the plans wish to remove all the historic features that make the St Clair Vinery at Pointues Rocques of special interest and conservation-worthy.

‘Once again this is in breach of the Land Planning Law 2005 on conservation areas and also in breach of IDP Policy GP4,’ it said.

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‘On these grounds alone, both this draft development framework and its associated planning application should be rejected.

‘If this is not done, quite apart from the fact that those responsible for any rushed, poor decisions may be open to serious legal challenge, it will set a terrible precedent for other conservation areas on this island.

‘If the island falls below stringent international standards on conservation, carbon foot-printing, waste management and sustainability, as this draft development framework clearly does, then it can hardly hope to be taken seriously in other spheres.’

The Delancey Conservation Committee represents several hundred residents of the area.

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A final planning application is expected to be decided on at an open planning meeting.

Other opinions in the email came from various members of the community.

St Sampson’s douzenier Andy Carre said: ‘I can tell you I am utterly speechless, as is almost everyone else with this decision.

‘The effect and impact this will have on the north of our island is going to be a game changer for everyone who lives in Guernsey – and not for the better.

‘Why no open public meetings and why no responses from Planning answering our questions or concerns made when we submit a representation to a development framework?’

The committee’s road safety and traffic expert, Sarah Greeno, said the report from planning ignores valid points, brushing them aside with no consideration.

‘Even in a case like this when they have been supplied with a constant stream of valid, constructive information they have the audacity to fob us off as if we have no clue,’ she said.

‘All because the principle of developing the site has already been decided. No flexibility and no thought for our safety or quality of life. The DPA are too concerned about landowners’ expectations and not the communities that have to live with the consequences of their bad decisions.’

Helen Hunter, the committee’s lead background researcher, said the only people able to stop this are deputies or an advocate.

‘The planners and the DPA will not back down an inch – the longer it goes on, the more entrenched they become,’ she said.

‘Personally I am totally finished with talk, comments, words, delivering leaflets, etc – but why are the deputies so ineffective? They profess support but there is no action to change anything.’

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