Senior Planning Consultant Chris Crew joined Collas Crill in April 2022 to offer specialist planning advice as part of the firm's property services in Guernsey. Chris has more than 17 years' experience gained in the UK and Guernsey. He joins Collas Crill from the States of Guernsey Planning Service where he worked as a Senior Planning Officer for eight years. Here he shares his views on the States of Guernsey's plans on the redevelopment of land between Town and the Bridge.
The States of Deliberation has recently approved the creation of a Development Agency to identify opportunities for, and to deliver redevelopment of, Guernsey's east coast between Town and the Bridge. This, and the addition of Co-op's announcement that an outline planning application for the redevelopment of Leale's Yard has been submitted to the Development and Planning Authority, has the potential to drive the most significant and long-lasting transformation of this area since the Victorian period.
Such transformation will not happen quickly. The States near unanimously, and sensibly, agreed to push back the deadline for the Development and Planning Authority to produce guidance, in the form of a Local Planning Brief (or Briefs), to 18 months after the new Agency has identified strategic objectives, specific sites and development opportunities. Thereafter the planning application process and development of specific sites is likely to take several years to complete. By way of example, and although much less extensive in its scope, an Outline Planning Brief for the redevelopment of Admiral Park was approved in 1998, yet development of that area remains ongoing.
It is not yet clear what evidence gathering, analysis or consultation will be carried out by the Agency in order to identify those objectives, sites and opportunities, or whether the States itself will provide any further direction as it did with regards to removing surface level traffic along part of the Town seafront. However early and proactive engagement on the part of landowners, developers, community groups and other interested parties will be key in helping to shape the Agency's vision.
The importance of early engagement and influence cannot be over-stressed as subsequent Local Planning Brief preparation will take its lead from the Agency's initial conclusions. The allocation of sites for specific uses or forms of development, the requirement for highway and other infrastructure improvements, restrictions on levels of parking and design codes, amongst other things, are all likely to be fixed by the Local Planning Brief.
If the Development and Planning Authority considers that future opportunities for the efficient, effective and comprehensive development by the Agency might be compromised, there may come a point where forms of development currently provided for are no longer possible. For now though, development proposals along the east coast and within the Town and Bridge Harbour Action Areas will continue to be assessed against the policies of the Island Development Plan.
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