Senior parish officials from the Vale and St Sampson's have declared their support for proposals to develop Leale's Yard which have been unveiled by the Co-op today.
The Vale's Senior Constable, Richard Leale, said he was "very supportive of these latest exciting proposals".
St Sampson's Junior Constable, Leonie Le Tissier, said that her Douzaine was "supportive of the development of Leale's Yard" and believes that it will "provide the impetus for more investment in the Bridge area as a whole" if it is approved by the States' Development & Planning Authority later this year.
They were speaking to Express last night after attending a meeting at which the Co-op presented their latest proposed scheme to develop 13 acres of land at Leale's Yard.
Pictured: Parish officials from both sides of the 'border' which divides The Bridge hope the Co-op's latest scheme for Leale's Yard will encourage further investment in the whole area.
The scheme includes more than 300 homes, a new Co-op food store, other retail space, a multi-storey car park for more than 300 vehicles and various civic and green areas.
The Channel Islands' retailer hopes to secure planning permission this year and open the new food store and the first homes on the site within the following three years.
"These latest plans show careful consideration of the use of the site without trying to cram a large number of buildings on to it," said Mr Leale, who also pointed out that he has no interest in the area of land which just happens to bear his surname.
"Standing on the Crocq, the roof line of some of the buildings will be just visible, but not in an intrusive way.
"Additional traffic might be a difficulty with 320 dwellings at peak times, especially taken in conjunction with the Kenilworth site. There is only one entrance and exit to the site at the northern end of the Bridge.
"Whilst it is out of the Co-op's hands, there is still talk of traffic lights instead of the roundabout at the northern end. The southern end will be less busy with the Co-op shop no longer being there."
Pictured: Traffic is frequently the first concern raised when larger developments are proposed and the Constables expect that to be the case with the Leale's Yard scheme.
Ms Le Tissier agreed that concerns about the proposed development are likely to centre around traffic.
"The concerns we believe many of our parishioners will have will factor mainly around the infrastructure on the Bridge and the surrounding roads and some will be worried about parking," said Ms Le Tissier.
But she feels such concerns are outweighed by the likely benefits of the development should it go ahead.
"If more people are living in the area, then the Bridge needs to become more of a place to go to and to stay for a while," she said. "It already has a good community feel, but we would like to see it thrive even more.
"[The proposed scheme] appears to be a mix of housing, retail and light industry, which is what the Douzaine would have expected."
Pictured: The St Sampson's Douzaine and the Vale's Senior Constable are impressed by the mix of uses proposed for Leale's Yard.
Mr Leale and Ms Le Tissier said they saw no need for the States to provide any funding for the proposed scheme.
"The Co-op assures us that no public money is needed to progress this development and hopes to have spades in the ground by the end of the year with a three-year completion time," said Mr Leale.
"Credit needs to be given to the Co-op for finally deciding that they can afford to progress this major development without the need for States' finance."
Ms Le Tissier said: "After attending the presentation, we believe that the Co-op and its development partners do not need States’ money to deliver their plans.
"We think the States should concentrate on spending money on delivering good infrastructure and amenities around the whole of the Bridge area."
Ms Le Tissier said that her Douzaine "eagerly awaits the full plans and is sure to make further comment in due course".
Pictured: The Douzaines are expected to make submissions to the States' Development & Planning Authority ahead of its consideration of the latest proposed scheme for Leale's Yard.
Mr Leale said he hoped the Co-op could successfully negotiate the States' planning process and deliver the latest proposed scheme after many years of other schemes being drawn up and not taken forward.
"This is a very positive outcome for the use of Leale`s Yard," he said.
"It is a good balance of mainly residential with some commercial. The multi-storey car park is a very good addition along with car free spaces between and among the buildings, creating a pleasant place to live.
"I wish the Co-op every success as they drive these latest exciting proposals through the various planning hoops to finally bring to fruition the development of this large brownfield site, providing much-needed affordable homes for the people of Guernsey - and at the same time helping to bring life back to the Bridge."
Picture credits (top): Leonie Le Tissier - Women In Public Life; Richard Leale - Vale Parish.
Latest plans out for Leale's Yard - with 300+ homes and a new Co-op
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