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Quarrying at Chouet Headland moves a step closer

Quarrying at Chouet Headland moves a step closer

Tuesday 16 November 2021

Quarrying at Chouet Headland moves a step closer

Tuesday 16 November 2021


Planning guidance has been published which should assist Ronez in drawing up detailed plans to move its quarrying business from Les Vardes to Chouet Headland.

The States' Development & Planning Authority has released a Development Framework for Chouet Headland six weeks after the States’ Assembly backed proposals to extract stone there instead of importing it from outside the island.

"After the States approved the principle of quarrying at this site, it is appropriate that the Authority act quickly and provide a Development Framework," said Deputy Victoria Oliver, President of the Authority.

"Through providing broad, comprehensive and practical guidance, we can ensure any planning applications and subsequent developments are in line with Island Development Plan policies and best practice. This Framework will now give advice on how planning applications can mitigate impacts on the surrounding area and nearby residents and businesses can be confident that we will be looking closely at how future development will affect them."

Deputy Victoria Oliver

Pictured: The President of the Development & Planning Authority, Deputy Victoria Oliver, said that her Authority's Development Framework would provide important guidance to authors of a planning application for permission to quarry stone from Chouet Headland in the Vale. 

The Authority published a draft Development Framework for Chouet Headland in 2019. It generated around 100 representations in an eight-week consultation period. The Authority said that all issues raised were fully considered and adjustments were made before the final Development Framework was published yesterday. 

The final Development Framework is available to read ONLINE HERE.

On 30 September, the States’ Assembly agreed by 27 votes to nine that quarrying should be continued in Guernsey after stone reserves at Les Vardes have been exhausted and backed stone extraction at Chouet Headland. Ronez immediately started to draw up a planning application for Chouet Headland, which covers approximately 51 vergées.

A Development Framework does not mean that work can begin straight away. It is supplementary planning guidance to potential applicants which outlines the issues which a planning application would need to address to be successful.

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Pictured: Chouet Headland, which is part-owned by the States, includes agricultural fields which would be lost if plans to quarry stone are allowed to proceed. 

Ronez intends to submit a planning application by the end of the year and earlier this year invited the public to see and discuss its plans for the site.

Many of the concerns raised at that meeting and during the original consultation revolve around the impact of quarrying on biodiversity at Chouet Headland.

The Development Framework includes advice on mitigating the environmental impact of quarrying, which reflects the number and type of representations made to the Authority during consultation.

chouet-roussel.jpg

Pictured: In August, Steve Roussel, Director and General Manager of Ronez, said that there would be several stages to relocating quarrying to Chouet Headland and that work needed to start quickly to safeguard on-island stone extraction.

In the Framework, the Authority clearly explains the status of the Development Framework.

"This Development Framework provides planning guidance for the potential development of land at Chouet Headland, Vale, for the extraction and processing of stone to produce aggregates," it said.

"It provides broad, comprehensive and practical guidance on how the policies in the Island Development Plan 2016 will be applied to the site, and considers an appraisal of the site and the wider area. This Development Framework is supplementary planning guidance and any planning application relating to mineral extraction on the site should be in accordance with it.

"The overall intention is to provide guidance which will help to ensure that mineral extraction can occur within the Chouet Headland in a sustainable fashion, respecting and protecting the local environment surrounding the site, as well as the amenity of local communities and residents and the local infrastructure.

"As with all Development Frameworks, this document does not equate to the granting of planning permission. Any proposal for the development of the site will need to secure planning consent and satisfy the requirements of the Development Framework and planning policy considerations at that time. If impacts of development cannot be satisfactorily mitigated, development cannot proceed."

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