Still a way to go for this field

WHEN the PEH green field proposal first emerged, we said in this column that the proposal just didn’t feel right.

With the first political bid to stop the move now itself stopped, it feels no better to most.

But does it mean that up to 150 units of staff accommodation are now destined for the field? In reality those behind it have just avoided one potential block, but the process is no further forward, and that is succour for its opponents to cling to.

The planning process will be complex, with P&R and HSC needing to show that the proposal is of such strategic importance that it can be demonstrated to be in the interest of the health, well-being, safety or security of the community, to override normal planning constraints, and to prove that there is no alternative site available that is more suitable.

And public opposition could be strong, even angry, judging by the tone of the social media response.

The requete also intended to set a policy for the States as landowner in respect of Agricultural Policy Areas, but the amended version, seized upon as an overall solution, fails to do that.

So now also of concern to the public is the fear that the States might start to believe that it can set a precedent for the use of agricultural land, if ameliorated by some offsetting. Members will deny that – but what is a true 'emergency' nowadays?

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