£1.7m. spent on site for homes for key workers

A KEY WORKER housing development is set to start going up on the former CI Tyres site early next year, after being purchased by the Guernsey Housing Association for £1.7m.

The La Charroterie site has stood unused for nearly a decade, after being earmarked for housing, but not developed.

It is hoped work will start in January, with the project finished by mid-2024.

GHA chief executive Steve Williams said the site was a fantastic opportunity.

‘The island desperately needs all types of affordable housing, whether that’s social rental, partial ownership, specialised or key worker and this site is ideal for the latter,’ he said.

‘It is on a main bus route and within walking distance of the hospital, so it’s perfect for staff that the island’s health service relies on.’

Currently there is planning permission in place for a three-and-a-half storey building containing 17 flats and 2 ground floor retail/commercial/office units.

Some minor adjustments to the design are being considered, includes reconfiguring the design to increase the number of units and replace the two retail units. This could result in 25 units being developed.

The change could also see some three-bed flats changed to one-bed units.

The property was sold by Charroterie Property Ltd to Sancus Properties Ltd – a company linked to an alternative finance provider – for £1.4m. in September 2018.

Then in August 2021 Sancus Properties Ltd sold it to La Charroterie Investments Ltd for £699,000.

The Channel Islands Tyre Co site in 2011. It closed in about 2015. (31113120)

Now the GHA has purchased it for £1.7m, with the assistance of States funding from the capital grant awarded to the Affordable Housing Development Programme.

Mr Williams said the purchase price was based on an RICS valuer valuation of the site, which has two planning permissions.

‘We are changing the mix of apartments to provide 25 properties, but within the existing size of the building that has permission,’ Mr Williams said.

‘Hence £1.7m. for 25 units is £68,000 a plot, which is good value.’

Employment & Social Security and Policy & Resources both supported the site being used specifically for key worker accommodation.

‘Supporting the GHA’s desire to buy this site to develop into key worker accommodation was a no-brainer,’ said ESS vice-president Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez.

We know that there is a real shortage of suitable accommodation to house those staff brought to the island to support the island’s health service. This site ticks every box in terms of location, access to public transport and providing the opportunity to crack on with development as a result of the planning permission already in place.’

After several planning rejections, the first planning application granted was an outline planning permission for a block of 16 apartments and block of 3 terraced dwellings in 2012. Since then a variety of applications have been submitted, with the largest granted being for 20 new apartments and three new dwellings. The site was cleared on buildings in 2018.

The tyre business had shut by 2015.

Other recent major GHA purchases

Kenilworth Vinery was sold for about £6.5m. last October. The States agreed to provide the funds so the GHA can develop it. The site could yield up to 135 units. That is about £48,000 per unit for the plot.

The neighbouring Guernsey Data Park site was bought the GHA, with the backing of Employment & Social Security, for £4.75m. earlier this summer. About 190 units could be created. That is about £25,000 per unit for the plot.

Neither site has any planning permissions for housing in place yet.

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