A planning application to convert an old vinery site into four industrial units could see the entire island's Ruette Tranquilles network split in half, residents of the area fear.
The application is for the Stratheden Vinery on the Rue Du Douit in the Vale - and it contains plans to demolish the existing glasshouse to erect four general/light industrial units.
But since the application's conception, residents of the area have been raising concerns primarily about the affect the increased traffic that would naturally come with the units and the conversion work could have on the area.
"Basically, the problem is that the public's safety will be at risk," Katherine Henning, one resident of the lane, said.
"This lane is used by so many dog walkers, walkers, children, cyclists and horse riders - it is a safe cut through toward Saumarez Park and is the only Ruette Tranquilles linking the north of the island to Castel's network. With all of the blind exits and the lack of passing areas that aren't people's drives we are really concerned at how dangerous it will be if large trucks start passing through all the time."
Ms Henning said there was already clear evidence of the damage high traffic levels could do on the lane. The Rue Du Douit is often used as a diversion when the Landes Du Marche is closed, and she said when those levels of traffic were using the area, there were accidents and damage to vehicles regularly, with her having seen a woman get hit by a vehicle herself during on of those recent diversions.
But the residents were not only making assumptions about how the traffic would be a problem. They pointed to a number of points (OC3 and OC7) in the Island Development Plan, which was designed by the States to develop the island in a fair and sensible way, that state an agricultural site such as this vinery could only be converted providing that:
'The proposals would not jeopardise highway safety and the free flow of traffic on the adjoining highway.'
They also argued passing the application would contradict the Integrated Transport Strategy, which aims to increase the size of the Ruettes Tranquilles network.
"Access to the site is another problem," Neil Michel, another resident of the area, said.
"It would be using our neighbour's driveway, which they will have right of way through. That comes out straight onto the lane. You simply cannot mix industrial traffic with a Ruettes Tranquilles predominantly used by pedestrians, cyclists and school children, the harm on traffic is obvious to anyone visiting the property for the first time.
Mr Michel and his wife, Siobhan, said they had spoken to a number of deputies who had agreed with them that the site was not the most suitable on the island for the development.
"If this application, which fails to meet even the most fundamental criteria in the IDP is approved it would set a very dangerous precedent, and it would open the gates for everyone with vineries looking to do the same thing."
The application is currently pending, and submissions regarding it need to be entered by this Friday - they can be submitted by letter or email.
Pictured top: Niel Michel, Siobhan Michel and Kate Henning
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