‘We must steer clear of building on green fields’

GUERNSEY must do what it can to avoid building on green field sites in future, said the architect of a requete that sought to halt a field near the Princess Elizabeth Hospital being targeted for homes.

Deputy Steve Falla next to the field by the PEH earmarked for development. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31288808)
Deputy Steve Falla next to the field by the PEH earmarked for development. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31288808)

Deputy Steve Falla led efforts to have the Assembly reject the idea of using a green field on land in the PEH grounds as a possible site for future key worker accommodation.

Although the requete passed, it was in a form that was drastically different to the original proposition after being amended.

Deputy Falla’s concerns have again been raised after the recently published population and immigration review from Home Affairs.

The review suggests that in order to keep the local workforce at 2020 levels net migration of 300 a year is needed.

That will have an effect on housing and is anticipated to lead to 1,705 new housing units being needed by 2026, and more if extended into the future. That figure exclusides key worker housing.

The review said it was ‘likely that there will be a substantial requirement to develop land, including likely green field sites, if the current model of building in terms of building heights, density, and off-street parking is continued’.

Deputy Falla said the limited space on which to build would be one of the contentious areas when the review is debated.

‘I understand the point made in the policy letter about the area of land which could be needed to provide additional accommodation for Guernsey residents and my views are also informed by my membership of both Economic Development and Employment & Social Security, each of which have a keen interest in immigration,’ he said.

He noted that the report used the word ‘likely’ in relation to the development of green fields, but this would be contingent on other factors such as planning laws and the height and styles of buildings allowed in the future.

‘I continue to maintain that if there is any way of avoiding it, our objective should be to steer clear of developing on Guernsey’s green spaces,’ he said.

In relation to the PEH field he still believed there were alternative brown field sites available that could be used to house Health & Social Care’s key workers.

‘I would much rather build houses on derelict glasshouse sites which are unworkable for growing or farming, than on green fields,’ said Deputy Falla.

The States is set to debate the population review in the next few weeks.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News