Le Menage partial ownership residents begin moving in

PEOPLE have begun moving into new partial ownership properties in St Martin’s, following the controversial development’s lengthy planning process.

Building work at the £8m. Le Menage site, formerly called Les Blanches, began in June 2020 and saw fields at the edge of St Martin’s village being turned into 26 new homes.

Of these, 10 are partial ownership properties to provide more affordable options for first-time buyers.

The development went ahead once permission was granted 2017, after plans were rejected twice and faced public objections over traffic and the loss of agricultural land.

Guernsey Housing Association chief executive Steve Williams was pleased to have worked with local developers Vieux Moulin on the project, which also involves the addition of 12 new houses and four apartments, aimed at islanders looking to downsize.

Work is due to be completed by June.

‘It has provided 10 more properties for partial ownership for those who can’t afford to buy in the private sector,’ Mr Williams said.

‘We would like to do a lot more of that and we are working on that – this is a really good contribution.’

Due to the large partial ownership waiting list, islanders were lined up to move into the new properties as soon as they were ready.

‘They have pretty much all moved in,’ Mr Williams added.

‘People were very excited to move in.’

He said the new development was in a beneficial location.

‘It’s a good spot. It’s very good for the shops – it’s well located and near bus routes and other facilities.

‘It was a really good opportunity and the developers found it a really positive thing.’

Project director Eleanor Saunders, from Walter Property, owner of Vieux Moulin, said for the 16 sheltered housing units, at least one owner must be over 55, or classed as disabled.

‘Naturally then we envisage that these units will be taken up predominantly by people looking to downsize or maintain a bolt hole in Guernsey,’ she said.

The development was anticipated to be completed eight weeks behind the original schedule due to challenges caused by the pandemic.

‘We have had to make quick decisions to overcome these and keep the project moving forward.’

She said the company had received ‘very positive’ feedback from the Development and Planning Authority.

‘We are extremely happy with the synergies achieved between us and the GHA in bringing this project to fruition.

‘All in all, the entire project has required a huge team effort to deliver what we believe will be a lovely new community for St Martin’s.’

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