Guernsey Press

Plans to build nurses’ homes in PEH green field run fallow

A LEADING critic of a controversial application to build dozens of flats for nurses on a green field in the grounds of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital has claimed the plan has stalled and is going nowhere.

Trenching work as part of an electricity upgrade took place at Le Bordage Seath, next to the hospital, this summer. (32486454)

The Policy & Resources Committee applied in December for permission to construct 66 units for key workers as the first stage of developing the field known as Le Bordage Seath – five months after the States rejected a requete which tried to stop the development.

But Rule 14 questions submitted by Deputy Yvonne Burford have revealed that the idea has hardly progressed since then.

She said that was because P&R has failed to justify its proposed development with key evidence which the Development & Planning Authority would need for it to use the ‘silver bullet’ policy S5, to approve a scheme which planning rules would normally prohibit.

‘The response to my questions essentially seems to say that P&R won’t submit the technical and site evidence required by the DPA to justify building on a green field, unless the committee knows the application is likely to be successful,’ said Deputy Burford.

‘Not unreasonably, the DPA can’t tell them if it will be successful unless they see the required evidence.

‘I am pleased that the proposal to develop the field appears to have hit the buffers for now, but disappointed that it has taken up so much time and resource when it was fairly predictable that it might fail.’

P&R’s reply to Deputy Burford said that additional evidence was not strictly required to justify its application to develop Le Bordage Seath. It indicated that the DPA’s position on the application had discouraged it from gathering such evidence anyway.

‘Given that P&R is minded not to spend taxpayers’ money to progress opportunities that may have limited scope if the DPA is not minded to consider the principle of an S5 application, which is what the application is seeking, it has not yet invested in the technical evidence,’ said P&R president Peter Ferbrache.