Guernsey Press

‘Right thing, right place’ – Charroterie key-worker housing approved

A new 57-flat tower block is the right thing, in the right place, the Guernsey Housing Association has stated in the wake of planning success yesterday.

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The former CI Tyres site in La Charroterie. (33074704)

The 10-storey tower block, with a six-storey one next to it, will be built in La Charroterie after the Development & Planning Agency unanimously backed the GHA’s plans for 57 one-bedroom key worker flats on the former CI Tyres site.

But even in giving their backing at the conclusion of yesterday’s open planning meeting, a couple of members said that they remained concerned about the parking provision on the site, with only 20 spaces being included.

About 30 people packed into the Saumarez Room at Beau Sejour to hear a short presentation on the plans by planning director Jim Rowles, followed by several representations by people opposed to or supportive of the development.

Parking issues were raised by more than one of the opponents, with other issues including potential harm to the area’s biodiversity, the development’s impact on flats across the road at Charroterie Mills as well as concerns about giving people easy access to the wooded area behind the site.

But the general feeling of the DPA was probably summed up by vice-president Andy Taylor.

‘If there’s going to be a site for a high-rise residence in Town, this is it,’ he said.

GHA development manager Phil Roussel at an open planning meeting held at Beau Sejour yesterday. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33074534)

The States had made housing its top priority, particularly affordable housing, and this site would have 57 flats that fell into that category.

There was praise for the design of the site, created by architects Lovell Ozanne.

‘I’d like to compliment the architects and the GHA for pushing the envelope,’ said Sasha Kazantseva-Miller.

She and other members particularly liked the way in which the development would be layered, with the smallest part at the front, building up to the taller structure behind.

Employment & Social Security president Peter Roffey spoke in support of the project and sought to allay concerns about parking by saying that if this was a private development along the lines of Charroterie Mills then the 20 spaces would be too few, but the people who would be living in these flats were likely to be those who did not require their own transport.

Speaking afterwards, GHA development manager Phil Roussel said that a lot of key workers already living in accommodation it had built did not drive.

The site was on a bus route and during the presentation it was stated that there would be space for 57 bicycles, with the possibility of adding more.

Given that a lot of the key workers could be employed at the PEH, Mr Roussel said that the idea of having health department vehicles made available to staff was being considered.

He was pleased with the DPA’s decision.

‘It’s something that’s desperately needed for the island.

‘I think it’s the right thing in the right place,’ he said.

The first element of the work would be stabilising the cliff at the back of the site and design work on this had been completed.

He thought it most likely that work on the buildings would start early next year.