Island Development Plan ‘has done what it said it would do’

AN EVIDENCE-BASED review will help determine how Guernsey can get more affordable housing, Development & Planning Authority president Victoria Oliver has said.

Development & Planning Authority president Deputy Victoria Oliver. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31733571)
Development & Planning Authority president Deputy Victoria Oliver. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31733571)

The 2016 Island Development Plan included controversial policy GP11 in a bid to force large-scale developer to help create more affordable housing.

But none has yet been built under the policy.

A review into the planning policy framework for the island is currently under way.

GP11 states that any development with more than 20 homes should contain a proportion of affordable housing.

And Deputy Oliver said that as Pointues Rocques still has not been signed over to the Guernsey Housing Association, it was true that, in the six-and-a-half years since the plan was adopted, no affordable housing had been delivered under this policy.

‘Even on the committee, everyone has a view of what GP11 should be achieving and it’s not,’ said Deputy Oliver.

‘I have my views, but we need a review, to make sure decisions are evidence-based. The UK came out with new guidelines in 2019 and we will be looking at that as well as talking to developers, experts and the public.’

She said the overriding need was to streamline this process.

‘At the moment this is a 15-stage process that takes 18 months to two years. We can see what needs changing but we don’t have the mechanism to change it. That will be prepared for the next committee to be able to move swiftly.’

Deputy Oliver said she felt that overall the IDP had been successful.

‘It has done what it said it would do, but everything can be changed and improved for the better,’ she said.

‘The review might just say that’s everything’s fine or we might need change. I have my views, but we need a review, to make sure decisions are evidence-based.’

The review will be particularly focused on housing and development, but also land for employment purposes.

‘It will be looking at our industrial spaces and making sure we are future-proofed,’ said Deputy Oliver.

The review will also include an update on the island’s biodiversity areas.

‘It’s about protecting what we need to protect. At the moment we have sites of special significance and we will ask whether other areas should have this same status. We want to use the land as efficiently as possible.’

The 2016 IDP identified 15 housing areas for housing, and three of these have finished homes – Priaulx Garage, Maurepas Road and Warry’s Bakery.

These were all developed by the GHA and are either key worker housing, social rentals or partial ownership properties.

Of the remaining 12, three are active building sites, five either have an application for homes being considered or approved, or have been partially developed, with the remaining four having no active or approved application for housing.

The largest outstanding site is the College of FE at the Coutanchez, which is larger than the nearby Pitronnerie Road Industrial Estate.

Deputy Oliver said this was currently in the middle of a traffic assessment.

‘Once that is done it will be open to development as per the framework.’

. To find out more about the review visit .

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