Guernsey Press

‘DPA’s Island Development Plan review is flawed’ - Falla

A deputy who has championed saving greenfield sites from housing development has called proposals in the Development & Planning Authority’s Island Development Plan review flawed.

Deputy Steve Falla says derelict vinery sites should be freed up for housing development. (33392582)

He is now calling for the Strategic Land Use Plan – the plan above the IDP – to be reviewed to allow more glasshouse sites to be used for housing.

Six sites have been put forward for affordable housing but half – fields in L’Aumone, Ville Amphrey and Route des Coutanchez – are virgin green fields.

The other three – fields off Grande Rue car park and Routes Militaire and a glasshouse site off Burnt Lane – are a mix of green and brownfield sites.

Deputy Steve Falla, who has previously led a requete to stop a field near the Princess Elizabeth Hospital being targeted for homes, said he was disappointed with the latest proposals.

‘I am dumbfounded that we are looking at bringing several green fields, for example at Ville Amphrey and Le Vrangue, into the local and main centres when there are potentially many redundant glasshouse sites in Guernsey that could be built on,’ he said.

‘I have repeatedly called for disused and derelict vinery sites to be re-evaluated as potential housing sites in the context of the housing crisis and this is still not happening.’

Deputy Falla said that the DPA’s hands were tied when reviewing the IDP because land use is dictated by the Strategic Land Use Plan and its associated spatial strategy, which is legally binding and is valid until 2031.

The SLUP falls within Environment & Infrastructure, which has also criticised the DPA for attempting to rezone the areas, saying they are not in the spirit of the plan.

‘As I understand it, the SLUP trumps everything,’ Deputy Falla said.

‘Effectively, we are hamstrung by the SLUP which is not scheduled for review for another seven years.’

He said that there were about 460 vergees of redundant glass across the island on sites that will never again be used for growing, but most of these are ruled out of consideration by the SLUP.

‘The States has spent this political term wringing its hands over the housing crisis, when what we probably should have been doing was looking at whether the SLUP could or should be reviewed as an exceptional approach to address exceptional circumstances,’ Deputy Falla said.

‘Without doing that you can bring in any other changes you like – Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller’s proposed new Housing Department or Deputy Nick Moakes’ proposed Housing Sector Forum – but they’ll still be unable to overturn the rules that the States has put in place through the SLUP.’

Deputy Falla accepts that the sites identified by the DPA do include glasshouses, but said this does not go far enough.

He said he will make a representation to the planning inspector reflecting his views but the inspector will probably be powerless to challenge the SLUP when he makes his recommendations to the DPA.

  • The proposals and support documents can be viewed at Islanders can submit comments and suggestions for changes to the recommendations until 5pm on Monday 29 July.