Proposals made for the development of Leale’s Yard have been met with scepticism by some business owners at the Bridge.
The Co-op submitted a planning application yesterday including proposals for more than 300 homes, a multi-storey car park and a new Co-op food store.
Pitstop Garage Director Chris Le Carpentier said he believed a lot of Bridge businesses were “fed-up” of proposals.
“I have lived in the area since 2003 and set up the business at the Bridge in 2009. I attended a meeting around 2003 where proposals for Leale’s Yard were being discussed,” he said.
“Now here we are, almost 20 years later, in the exact same position talking about more proposals; I have lost all interest in it.”
Pictured: Chis Le Carpentier opened Pitstop Garage in 2009.
The manager of a shop on the Bridge who chose not to be named echoed Mr Le Carpentier’s comments.
“Talks and plans about what to do with Leale’s Yard have been going on for more than 15 years; I haven’t looked into the proposals fully and I don’t think people care about it anymore,” he said.
“Something needs to be done with the site, but I think it would be better as an industrial site. To put 300 houses on it is too many and I doubt they will be truly affordable. If the proposals go ahead then it will screw the traffic up around the whole area.”
Margaret Henshaw, who works at Body & Sole, said she liked the proposals but was “not holding her breath”.
“If the new proposals every happen that that would be fantastic, but this has been going on for years. I will wait to see if approval is given before commenting further because we have seen this all before.”
Pictured: Ray & Scott Partner Jeff Fox said he is "very hopeful" about the benefit the proposals will have for the Bridge.
The Co-op has said that funding would not be needed from the States for the project.
Ray & Scott Partner, Jeff Fox, was optimistic about the plans.
“I think the Co-op’s proposals are fantastic. For a long time, St Sampsons has been seen as a secondary town and we have the ability to develop the area, which isn’t possible in town,” he said.
“In many respects the Co-op has held the area to ransom for many years, but it’s nice to see that they are finally taking the step and I’m looking forward to the development. Houses, roads and infrastructure are all very important and I think the plans are impressive."
Pictured: Some business owners are welcoming of the plans for Leale's Yard, while remaining sceptical that they'll come to fruition.
Mr Fox said that there have been improvements to the area over recent years: “I remember when the new harbour was built 18 years ago and, at that time, it was the first development in 50 years,” he said.
“Now, particularly in the last five years, the area has been revitalised. There is hardly an empty building and, if there is, it’s being snapped up very quickly. We are progressing with things like alfresco dining and I have nothing but positivity for the new proposals for Leale’s Yard.
“After everything with the pandemic it’s important for Guernsey to be moving forward and staying positive. The minute there are spades in the ground at Leale’s Yard it will be brilliant.”
However, Mr Fox did suggest that additional traffic, generated if the proposals go ahead, could cause difficulties.
“Traffic will undoubtedly increase in the area so I think there needs to be another access road to Leale’s Yard from the Braye Road end; that should be enough to resolve any potential problems.”
Pictured: St Sampson's Harbour at the Bridge.
Tozers owner Scott Cockburn hopes the plans will be approved.
“I think the new proposals are great and certainly much better than ones I have seen previously. In particular, I like that parking has been addressed with the mutli-story car park because the biggest issue with previous proposals was that they didn’t factor in parking,” he said.
“I think it will be good for the area if the proposals are accepted because the issue of what to do with the land has been going on for years.”
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