‘We have a housing crisis and are sitting on so much unused property’

THE island is in the middle of a housing crisis but is just sitting on thousands of square foot of unused property, a politician has claimed.

In a five-minute video posted on Facebook, Economic Development president Deputy Neil Inder pointed out the opportunity for housing in the unoccupied King Edward VII hospital site.

Together with fellow deputy John Gollop, he went on a tour around the States-owned property.

‘We are in the middle of a housing crisis – no-one’s selling anything, we’ve got key workers who can’t find anywhere to live, we’ve got islanders who can’t find anywhere to live,’ he said.

Filming through the windows, he showed the old wards completely empty or with old hospital beds in.

The main building, he said, could provide at least 10 houses.

There were also other buildings which he believed could make way for seven or eight flats, as well as a massive car park area.

Deputy Inder claimed to be surprised at the extent of the site, which closed in 2014.

‘Thousands of square foot of empty, usable space and we are just sitting on it,’ he said.

Deputy Neil Inder. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29371866)

Driving further round, he saw the opportunity for more potential housing, including an old ambulance maintenance shed, which he said could be knocked down tomorrow.

‘This island has got thousands and thousands of square feet of usable space and it is just sitting there, lying derelict in the middle of a housing crisis,’ he said.

Looking at the Castel Hospital and King Edward VII sites, he saw plenty of opportunities for housing and said government had to start moving on it quickly.

He implored Policy & Resources to start building homes for the people of Guernsey, saying the opportunity sits on government books as it owns the land.

‘We need to get on with it,’ he said.

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