Call for Guernsey's derelict vineries to accommodate affordable housing

Deputies accused of 'missing a trick' over the provision of more homes, which is the States' key priority in the last few months of government.

Deputy Steve Falla is renewing a call for affordable homes to be built on derelict vineries.

"I see this as a missed opportunity to potentially make good use of some of our redundant glasshouse sites. And there are 460 vergees of those scattered across the island. Instead, we're looking to build on green fields."

One of those greenfield sites potentially earmarked to be built over is the large agricultural field at La Vrangue in St Peter Port.

The Planning Authority has earmarked some old greenhouse sites in its bid to make room for 900 affordable homes.

Deputy Falla says a key document determines housing policy and he is concerned that politicians have ignored it:

"We've missed a trick. We've spent nearly a whole political term wringing our hands about what we can do about the housing crisis, when in fact the Strategic Land Use Plan (SLUP) isn't due for review for another seven years in 2031."

He says it recommends development only take place in or close to urban centres, like L'Aumone or the Bridge.

"The Planning Authority's hands are tied by the SLUP. That trumps everything. And that's not even within thre gift of the DPA, it's within the gift of Environment and Infrastructure. The SLUP essentially says you can only build in local and main centres."

He says the Strategic Land Use Plan is key to the problem and not amending it means deputies can only 'fiddle around at the edges' of the housing crisis.

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