Two deputies have submitted the first of what could be a series of procedural motions to ask the States' Assembly to reopen debate on the Island Development Plan later this month.
Ten days ago, Express reported that some deputies were considering submitting a motion for the States to debate an annual monitoring report on the Island Development Plan at their next meeting on 30 March.
That motion to debate the annual monitoring report was submitted this week. It is proposed by Deputy David De Lisle and seconded by Deputy John Gollop.
Pictured: Express' original report that some deputies were considering trying to prompt a debate on the Island Development Plan this month.
But debate on the annual monitoring report alone would not allow the kind of wide-ranging debate on the Island Development Plan itself which some deputies think is necessary. The Island Development Plan is the document which contains the policies against which the Development & Planning Authority decides on planning applications.
"In terms of the motion to debate [the annual monitoring report], one has to get the States to agree to it first and, if successful, debate will ensue at the end of the States' meeting. My intention would follow to amend the Island Development Plan of course," said Deputy De Lisle.
"On an appendix report [such as the annual monitoring report], no member can propose a sursis or amendment of the proposition. But if the motion to debate is successful, I could submit a further motion to suspend the rules in order that the proposition to note the report could be amended. This may be a preferable direction to lodging a requête."
A requête signed by seven States' members is potentially an alternative route to reopening debate on the Island Development Plan, which was approved in 2016, but it would take longer to draft and be added to the agenda for a future States' meeting.
Pictured: Deputy David De Lisle is leading efforts to prompt debate on the Island Development Plan at the next States' meeting.
Deputy De Lisle said that one of his concerns about the information in the annual monitoring report - which covers 2019 and 2020 - is "in relation to the loss of good agricultural land in the island to development and other uses".
"Since the adoption of the Island Development Plan in 2016, a total of 44 vergees of land within the Agricultural Priority Areas gained approval to change to domestic garden and 263 vergees of land outside the Agricultural Priority Areas has been given approval to change use from agricultural land to domestic gardens," said Deputy De Lisle.
"This adds to over 300 vergees lost to agricultural use by this means alone.
"The other issue that sparked my attention was that whilst the Agricultural Priority Area designation prioritises agricultural use, outside those Areas there is no such policy protection. The intention being to allow other legitimate uses [and] the applicant...is not required to demonstrate the land is unsuitable to agricultural use."
Pictured: Deputy John Dyke has been leading work to review how the Island Development Plan can be made easier to amend and is also a consistent critic of policy GP11.
Any States' debate on planning issues is likely to include the role of GP11 - a policy in the Island Development Plan on affordable housing which has become contentious as a result of a lack of new housing developments and calls from some deputies to scrap or significantly modify the policy.
It is not yet clear whether the deputies who want to see GP11 scrapped or significantly modified will see Deputy De Lisle's motion at the next States' meeting as an opportunity to move their objectives forward.
Deputy Victoria Oliver, President of the Development & Planning Authority, has previously told Express that she is relaxed about the potential for debate of her Authority's annual monitoring report in the States this month.
“A number of deputies wrote to me suggesting that, given that this is a new term and a new [Authority], it’s a very good time to speak about the Island Development Plan and get what the rest of the Assembly are thinking,” said Deputy Oliver.
Pictured: Deputy Victoria Oliver, President of the Development & Planning Authority.
Deputies could move for debate on Island Development Plan in March
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