La Societe calls for deputies to reconsider Spur Point inert waste proposals

PLANS to use Spur Point for Guernsey's inert waste are set to come before the States this week.

Spur Point / Longue Hougue South is the area proposed for the new inert waste site. It is home to the Atlantic scaly cricket (insert)
Spur Point / Longue Hougue South is the area proposed for the new inert waste site. It is home to the Atlantic scaly cricket (insert)

However La Societe Guernesiaise is strongly objecting to the project due to the site’s ecological and geological value.

The current site used to manage inert waste material is expected to be full within three years. After investigations Longue Hougue South was flagged as the best option, which could see a new breakwater built and the reclamation site extended south by 500 metres.

This could be available for use in 2024 and has an estimated capacity for 15 years’ infilling.

But environmentalists have raised concerns and La Societe has now submitted a formal objection.

La Societe’s scientific committee chairperson Laura Bampton said: 'Spur Point is extremely ecologically and geologically valuable. To needlessly destroy a pristine habitat like this would be a tragedy for Guernsey.'

La Societe is now encouraging islanders to contact their deputies to urge them to reconsider the plans.

One of the main areas of concern is an internationally important population of Atlantic scaly cricket, which is classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which lives in the area.

There is also 12,000 square metres of eelgrass - an important habitat, which is valuable due to the diversity of species it supports and the ecosystem services it provides. It also has an important role in the fight against climate change as it locks up carbon dioxide more efficiently than rainforests. In the UK it is a priority habitat.

The site also contains a unique rock formation - St Peter Port Gabbro - which is a draw for visiting geologists from around the world.

The area is also used by fishermen, shore gatherers and ormerers.

La Societe does not believe the results of the Environmental Impact Assessment conducted in 2019 provided a robust case that such a large-scale development at Longue Hougue South would have limited and manageable environmental impacts.

The matter is set to be debated at the next States meeting, which gets underway on Wednesday.

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