Less than a week before a debate that will finalise development
plans in Guernsey for the next ten years, politicians have again
been urged to support amendments to car parking and affordable
housing proposals that the construction industry say will otherwise
stop building activity and cost jobs.
In total 17 amendments to the Island Development Plan have been
proposed ahead of the debate next Wednesday, and at yesterday's
meeting experts urged Deputies to vote for amendments #4, #5 and
The Island Development Plan affordable housing and car parking
policies have been criticised by the Construction Industry Forum,
the Property Development Forum, the Guernsey Housing Association
and firms in the industry.
They say that setting the policy in place for ten years so soon
after the strategic housing target of 300 homes per year was
overwhelmingly voted down by politicians, and in the absence of a
full review and a fresh target, would be a mistake.
Claire Smith, a specialist Planning and Construction lawyer at
Ogier who addressed the politicians yesterday, said: "The
Island Development Plan must be right first time – getting it
wrong would affect house prices, development and the security of
jobs in the construction sector.
"It is clear from the questions that were asked that many
Deputies are concerned about the correct scale of the housing
problem and possible double counting issues.
"That of course was at the heart of the Seminar we
organised with Professor Christine Whitehead at St James and that
is the principal reason the Planning Inspectors findings were in
favour of the IDP proposals, which forced upon the Inspectors the
discredited Housing Target of 300 new homes each year and the
policies set out in the SLUP, even though the target had been
expressly rejected by the States as unworkable and monstrously big
"Surely it must be right to build a plan with such
fundamental importance around solid up to date data and
"All we are saying to Deputies is that without that data
and research, the social housing provisions, planning covenants and
rezoning will not deliver new affordable homes and will lead to
delay and additional cost, and more viability planning appeals
– that's not a sensible or sustainable way to deal with a
policy that will dictate every element of housing development
activity for a decade."
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