'Unbelievable' that Pointues Rocques development gets approved – with no site access and traffic concerns

WHAT a total waste of time – 30 representers who attended the open planning meeting to discuss the revised plans for a development at Pointues Rocques, several of whom had clearly spent a considerable amount of time researching technical information and all of whom spoke against the development, treated with contempt by a Development & Planning Authority who, in my view, had made up their minds to approve this development ahead of the open planning meeting.

It seems absolutely unbelievable that the DPA are able to approve plans submitted for a development which has a total lack of suitable access to the site. Developers of this site are arranging to have the adjacent lanes blocked to through traffic and they will become solely for access for residents in the road including the new development. As a result, all through traffic will be forced onto surrounding roads such as the Saltpans, which are totally unsuitable to take any such additional traffic. Apparently, the Environment & Infrastructure Committee have responsibility for traffic matters, however, Deputy Oliver said at the meeting that, despite four invitations from DPA to meet up to discuss the access to this site, the E&I Committee came up with excuses for why they were unable to attend. I understand that to close through roads permanently can only be done if it is seen to be of strategic importance to the whole island, which this is not.

It was disappointing to find that, apart from Deputy Gabriel, no other deputies attended the open planning meeting on Wednesday to speak up for St Sampson’s, which highlights a major weakness if a parish needs support at any time, since the introduction of island-wide voting.

I was somewhat surprised to learn at the meeting that our lives are now controlled by a dictatorship. The number of parking spaces provided on this and future developments has been reduced because it is the wish of planners that residents will be forced into car-sharing, cycling, walking or using the reduced bus service. Makes Liberation Day a bit of a joke.

In case the planners hadn’t realised, both parents in a family work these days and are under huge pressure to fit in all the activities of the day as it is – getting children to school, onwards to work, leaving work early to fetch children from school and take them elsewhere to the many activities that children are encouraged to take part in these days. There is definitely no time for cycling, walking or bussing. In any case, where are any children on theses developments going to go to school?

We learnt also that parking spaces at the new further education site in Les Ozouets has had car parking spaces reduced by 40 and replaced with extra cycle stands – you will cycle.

Employing UK traffic consultants to give advice to the local Traffic & Highway Services must stop immediately. They use models designed to suit UK situations, clearly totally unsuitable for use on an island such as ours. They have fed out of date and inaccurate information to T&HS which staff use when offering advice to DPA staff. Having said that would you not have assumed that T&HS would have challenged information which is clearly inaccurate.

There is no way that we would send any of our children to school in St Sampson’s on bikes or walking with the volume of traffic that is on the roads now, let alone when all five major projects planned for St Sampson’s have been built.

It’s great for the majority of States deputies, who mainly live outside St Sampson’s, to be able to cycle or walk leisurely through their ruette tranquilles in safety while enjoying the company of all the butterflies and bees quietly following them. They couldn’t care less what happens in the north.

With all the sites planned for development in St Sampson’s, it’s about time that planners realised that all the people living in these buildings together with the traffic issues they will bring is seriously affecting the quality of life for all residents in the parish of St. Sampsons. It is nice to see a bit of nature in the industrial north, you know.

Allegedly, discussion has taken place between those involved with all the St Sampson’s sites who claim they will make provision for cyclists and pedestrians. What an absolutely ridiculous thing to say – how’s that going to work, then? Residents might be able to cycle around their estates but how do they get between them – by helicopter?

During the time that the political committee were summing up after hearing the representations, the DPA staff were frequently quoting all the policy numbers on which the plans should be judged which, seemingly, they all met. What I see as completely unacceptable is how much power a handful of DPA staff and politicians have in dictating all that is built on our island. Everything has to be built, seemingly pretty much unchallenged, within the designated ‘centres’. This island is approximately 25 sq.miles in area, probably about the same size of some of the ‘centres’ in the UK. ‘Centres’ in Guernsey are completely inappropriate and are creating an ever increasing north/south divide when, by far, the majority of them are in St Sampson’s.

Why oh why is it such a crime to consider building anywhere outside these ‘centres’? Why is it so wrong to be building on some of the unsightly and dangerous derelict vinery sites situated in the south/upper parishes? Heaven forbid anything be built in Torteval, St Peter’s, St Saviour’s, Forest, St Andrew’s or St Martin’s.

These sites look extremely unsightly and would be much more pleasing to the eye with a handful of houses built on them than they are currently and without creating any traffic problems – a total waste of land that this island does not have to spare.

Co-ordination must be improved between E&I Committee and the DPA so that all aspects of access to any proposed sites can be dealt with suitably.

In conclusion, clearly any greenery is not allowed in St Sampson’s and we heard at the open planning meeting that the Delancey Conservation Area, which includes a part of this site, counts for nothing – imagine suggesting such a thing in Torteval.

RESIDENT OF SALTPANS

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