Policy & Resources is keeping its options open as it prepares to seek States approval to set up the agency to facilitate the regeneration of Guernsey’s east coast.
Although all individual development projects will still have to go through the usual planning approvals, P&R is hoping the agency, if approved, will speed up the process of regeneration drastically, while also enabling an over-arching, rather than a piecemeal development.
The agency would operate with some independence, including its own board and staff.
Yvonne Burford – a consistent advocate of transparency in government and the president of Scrutiny Management – has brought an amendment which seeks to bring the development agency within the scope of the States’ freedom of information code.
She has also asked a series of formal questions about the degree of control the agency would have over public land and how the public can support or object to its decisions.
P&R plans to establish a clear land management transfer policy, and so said it was premature to say whether areas including Castle Cornet, the Model Yacht Pond, La Valette and North Beach would come under the agency’s control.
‘It’s quite clear to me that islanders have a very great interest in the public land, buildings and facilities on the east coast, from the Vale all the way to La Valette, and that they will want to be involved with and have a say about how this land is developed over time,’ Deputy Burford said.
‘My concern is that these proposals will make that more difficult.
'In my view it would have been better for an overarching vision for the east coast to have been created and presented for public consultation and subsequent States approval, before considering passing it over to a development agency for delivery.’
She is also concerned about what might happen to States land ceded to the agency, including potential for long leases and even sales.
She was concerned that the only chance the public would have to comment on east coast development would be in response to planning applications.
That prompted her decision to try to bring the agency within the freedom of information code, she said.
The amendment has been seconded by Policy & Resources vice-president Deputy Heidi Soulsby.