Field neighbours launch a campaign to save it

RESIDENTS are fighting to prevent development near their homes around Pitronnerie Road.

People living near this field in Pitronnerie Road which could site more than 50 homes have formed themselves into a group to campaign against the idea. Left to right, Lucy Cave, Joan Rouget and Rhian Harris. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30266726)
People living near this field in Pitronnerie Road which could site more than 50 homes have formed themselves into a group to campaign against the idea. Left to right, Lucy Cave, Joan Rouget and Rhian Harris. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30266726)

The Pitronnerie Protection Group has met deputies and States officials to express their concerns after the Development & Planning Authority published a draft development framework in October for the fields between Pitronnerie Road and La Vrangue, with an indication that more than 50 houses could be built on the site.

‘It’s not just about this field, it’s about the Island Development Plan,’ said Lucy Cave, a resident of neighbouring Rue Thomas, who is a member of the group.

‘I think in the past the response from the DPA for various places has been “well, this was agreed as part of the IDP 2016”.

‘It’s not adequate. If it’s not working and it’s causing overpopulation in certain areas of the island, and with the raft of problems that we can foresee, it needs to be re-addressed by the States.’

The residents’ concerns include increased traffic, capacity of schools, flooding and the loss of biodiversity.

‘Rue Thomas is already a rat run – people use it as a cut through,’ said Joan Rouget, who has lived in the road for a number of years.

She understood that Rue Thomas, which connects Pitronnerie Road to La Vrangue, is seen as a neighbourhood road, meaning that it was predominately residential in character with little or no through traffic.

Mrs Rouget, Miss Cave and neighbour Rhian Harris all said that the area had already seen increased development along Guelles Road and they described traffic in the area as ‘horrendous’.

They expressed worries about road safety, lack of pavements, and especially school traffic heading to and from the new Sixth Form Centre and Guernsey Institute.

The group is also concerned about the loss of a valuable, natural amenity and area and are worried about the consequences of replacing fields and tress with a dense development of an estimated 48-88 houses.

Miss Cave said that at a time when world leaders are saying that we must protect green areas and biodiversity, she did not understand why the States would consider building on the field.

‘The States said that it’s non-agricultural land, but farmers have used it for 20 years or more,’ she said.

‘It goes against their own Strategy for Nature. There are plenty of brownfield sites that could be built on.’

Flooding was another area of concern. During winter and in heavy rainfall, Pitronnerie Road is prone to flooding and residents fear that the situation would only worsen if trees, root systems, hedgerows and grass were replaced by large areas of paving and driveways.

Miss Cave said that the group is open to anyone who is concerned about the future of the field.

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