Developers steer clear of affordable housing

PROPERTY developers have not built any affordable housing since a policy to encourage such development was introduced in 2016.

(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28694579)
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28694579)

The latest quarterly monitoring reports for this year have just been published, and they both reveal that the controversial policy called ‘GP 11’ is failing.

The rule states that every development over 20 homes must include some affordable units, and developments of between five and 19 homes were expected to include a payment into a fund to build affordable housing.

When the Island Development Plan was adopted in November 2016 it included bold ambitions to create enough housing.

Since that time 57 affordable units have been given permission, but they have not come from private landowners.

The latest statistics show that 25 new homes were given planning permission in the first quarter of this year, and a further 39 granted planning permission in the second quarter.

Many of the homes were detached with three or more bedrooms.

The largest planning permissions granted were in Guelles Road, the Charroterie, and Rue du Pre, all in St Peter Port; Rue du Tertre in the Vale; Route de Carteret in the Castel; and Les Nicolles in the Forest.

Some 20 of the dwellings were built on greenfield sites, although they were mainly within sites designated as main or local centres.

There are 530 housing units currently in what is called the ‘pipeline housing supply’.

This includes new housing where planning permission has been granted and the construction is not yet finished, and where outline planning permission has been given.

The largest developments in the pipeline supply are at Rue du Tertre in the Vale, Les Blanches in St Martin’s, and at the old CI Tyres in the Charroterie.

In 2018, the States agreed that a target of about 127 new homes should be built each year, and the latest monitoring reports show that the overall threshold is being met.

Deputy Dawn Tindall, the president of the Development & Planning Authority, said that the reports were important barometers of the economy and how the island is evolving.

‘The 2020 quarter one and quarter two monitoring reports produced by the DPA show a slight turn in the tide since Phase 5 in what was previously the continuing slow decline in homes being built.

‘Whilst these green shoots are encouraging providing much needed work for the construction industry, this trend in house building, together with an increase in development on windfall sites across the island, needs to be carefully monitored.

‘With regard to employment land, whilst the reports cover before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is insufficient evidence of any change in patterns of use yet.

‘This may be because of the time currently taken for the decisions on planning applications to be made including change of use – something which, I am pleased to say, has been given urgent attention with new service improvements approved and currently being implemented by the Planning Service.’

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