Health workers should be moving into new flats in La Charroterie by early 2026.
The Guernsey Housing Association yesterday met with architects as it works on revised plans for the former CI-Tyres site where it wants to build 54 one-bedroom units.
It had intended to have 25, but planners have now indicated that more flats can be built on the site, with the intention that the front will be four stories high, rising in stages to seven at the back.
That means a year delay on the original project and extra costs, but GHA chief executive Vic Slade believes it will be better value for money by providing more accommodation.
“During early discussions, we explored with States committees and colleagues, whether there would be an appetite for going higher and therefore have a higher density and be able to meet more housing need,” she said.
“People have been really receptive to that. I think partly that's to do with the location, because we've got some buildings around with some height. Because of the way that the cliff features around the site we saw an opportunity for design where it's not going to be a monolithic, multi-storey design, but something that can be gradually and gently graded back so that you actually have a really well designed good looking scheme and good looking building.”
Pictured: The former CI Tyres site.
Infrastructure costs of the site, like cliff stabalisation and tree line work, will remain similar to the last scheme.
“The cost is higher, but actually, in terms of proportionally, the number of homes that you can get, it means it's better value for money.”
Work is now beginning on the detailed design before going out to tender to find out the final bill.
The expectation is that a planning application will be submitted early next year.
“We hope to get keys in people's hands early 2026. If we can do it sooner, we will. But obviously, there's quite a few complexities around the site that we need to work through first.”
The one bedroom flats will meet the GHA’s usual design standards, whereas the previous scheme was more towards “luxury” space standards.
“They are not going to be small and pokey. We won't be compromising on the design. So they'll be good homes.
“I think one of the lessons from the pandemic is that people need access to the outdoors for wellbeing. So what we're going to try and do is make sure that each of those homes has got access to the outdoors or a balcony or, or some form of outside space. We need this to be a good liveable scheme for the long term.”
The design stage will also investigate the opportunities for active travel.
Planning requirements will dictate the amount of parking provided. The GHA will also look at bike storage and charging points for e-bikes.
“We want to explore working with companies who provide electric vehicles on a hire basis. Can we put points in for that? Because not everybody is going to want to have the running costs of a car full time if they don't use it full time. Obviously, there's good transport infrastructure anyway, up and down this road. But we're conscious with key workers, it might well be shift work when buses aren't running. So trying to give them the opportunity to have access to something that they can use on a hire basis and share with others within the development and be really, really positive.”
The site was bought by the GHA, with States grant support, in August 2022 for £1.7m.
There will also be an element of grant funding towards the capital costs of the building, with the majority borrowed by the GHA.
Deputy Peter Roffey, Employment & Social Security President, said:
"Having supported the purchase of this site last year, to help address the severe shortage in key worker housing that we’re experiencing, I’m really pleased that there is the potential to more than double the number of homes that this site can provide. This decision was a no brainer, as it also delivers better value for money for the States."
Pictured top: Deputy Roffey (left) and Ms Slade (right).
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