PF+A director Peter Falla says the DPA ‘shot themselves in the foot’ in rejecting the application and seems indignant that they heeded the objections of the residents. Earlier this year he said, ‘If you ignore that you live near the site, the development has fantastic benefits’.
Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it? It would have had fantastic benefits for those who stood to profit from the scheme, but none whatsoever for those of us who actually live nearby. Perhaps he lives in a lovely house in one of the upper parishes; if so, I wonder whether he would have no objection to a development being started near to his house, with all the resultant noise, dust and site traffic lasting for years – yet he seems to think that we in Pointues Rocques should meekly accept that disturbance for the sake of the profits to be made by its proposers. In fact, the proposed number of dwellings exceeded 150 in total, once subsequent phases were built, so the development could have taken many years, which would have seriously impacted the quality of our lives.
The claim that the development would have provided much-needed affordable housing is laughable: only 16 of the houses were to be ‘affordable’ – and they were tiny – whereas the rest would have been priced at up to £500,000. That’s not very affordable for most people – no fantastic benefits there.
Also, the favourable traffic survey performed by the company Arup was paid for by the developers. Am I cynical in thinking that the adage ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ might apply here? If Mr Falla wishes, I will conduct my own traffic survey which would doubtless conclude that the site is unsuitable; would he trust that survey to be unbiased and impartial?
The planners apparently claimed that all residents here were consulted and gave consent to the development. Well, I was certainly not consulted, nor do I know of any other resident who was, and I would never have consented. On the contrary, on 2 October 2017 the residents and others held a protest march which was led by our marvellous St Sampson’s deputies and douzaine representatives, and several hundred people, myself included, took part. If the planners doubt that this march took place, I have a recording of the Channel TV news coverage of the event which they are welcome to see.
Anyone who drives through the north of the island can see how houses are being squeezed, at maximum density and without gardens, onto any scrap of land that is available. The north is full; yet there is plenty of open land in the south, sites on main roads which could easily take some high-density housing. Perhaps it is time that the southern parishes took their fair share of new developments in the island?
Rue des Pointues Rocques