Affordable homes ruling ‘very disappointing’ to ESS president

GUERNSEY’S affordable housing policy is working correctly, despite plans for 26 homes at Briarwood having none of it, Employment & Social Security president Peter Roffey has said.

A Digimap image showing the area around Briarwood, St.Martin's, where a new housing development is planned. (31543039)
A Digimap image showing the area around Briarwood, St.Martin's, where a new housing development is planned. (31543039)

His committee told Planning there was no justification for the St Martin’s site having no affordable housing, when GP11 states that any development with more than 20 homes should contain some.

The developers behind the site around the Grande Rue car park successfully argued to planners that having some affordable housing would make the project unviable.

Deputy Roffey formerly headed up the Housing Action Group.

‘I accept they have all gone through the process of GP11, but I am really, really disappointed,’ he said.

He said this was a chance to get more affordable housing in the south.

‘Due to the [zoning of the] Island Development Plan, options are more limited than in the east and north,’ he said. ‘So this would have been ideal.’

He said he stood by GP11.

‘This proves that GP11 does not stop development,’ he said.

‘Where it can be shown it is not financially viable, there can be options that it can be reduced or removed.’

Despite ESS objecting to the application, he said they would not speak at next week’s open planning meeting.

‘At least, looking at the broader housing issue, we will have 26 additional homes,’ he said.

He appreciated some residents felt that St Martin’s was getting overdeveloped, but more was needed.

‘We need more housing and everyone needs to take their share,’ he said.

The IDP, including GP11, is currently under review, with an updated plan expected by 2025.

The current plan directs new housing towards zoned centres. Four local centres are in the south of the island – St Martin’s village, around Forest Church, the area of Le Rondin School, and St Peter’s village.

There are three in the north – Cobo, L’Aumone and L’Islet. But there are also two much larger main centres for Town and the Bridge.

. Planners are recommending that Briarwood goes ahead, with the Development & Planning Authority having the final say at an open planning meeting at 4pm on Monday at Beau Sejour.

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