Vale official fears Belgrave plans could delay Leale’s Yard

FEARS have been raised that pushing ahead with development plans at the Belgrave Vinery site will impact on Leale’s Yard.

Planners are out to consultation on how up to 313 homes could be built on the former greenhouse site near Le Murier.

Vale senior constable Richard Leale welcomed the prospect of new homes for the island’s young and those who were struggling to get on the housing ladder.

‘That said, I do question whether this announcement has been made because it’s expedient or whether it is truly the right site to develop at this time,’ he told the Vale Parish website.

This Digimap image shows the extent of the Leale’s Yard site, which runs behind many of the shops and businesses on the Bridge.

As a former vinery, the area was technically greenfield, unlike the disused Leale’s Yard, in which Mr Leale has no financial or other interest, because it is a derelict former industrial centre.

More particularly, he said, a similar number of homes could be provided at Leale’s Yard within an existing centre that needed investment, particularly in infrastructure, drainage and improved traffic flows.

‘I am slightly surprised that it appears to make sense to press ahead with a large estate development where there are no facilities, shops or other amenities within easy walking distance,’ he said.

‘Whereas, all the planning to date – including at Tertre Lane and Saltpans – has been to place new housing in the Bridge centre area so people have what they need on their doorstep.

‘If this goes ahead in parallel with regenerating Leale’s Yard and the Bridge generally, then it’s tremendous news. If not, then you have to question why this particular housing rabbit has been plucked out of the hat.’

He said the douzaine would be contacting the relevant States departments to check how the Belgrave Vinery scheme would affect the development status of Leale’s Yard and comment again when that was clearer.

The Development & Planning Authority has released a draft development framework for Belgrave Vinery, the majority of which is in States ownership.

The Guernsey Housing Association is keen to build social and affordable homes there.

Consultation on the draft framework ends at 5pm on Thursday 11 February. It can be found at https://gov.gg/developmentframeworks.

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