Proposals to build up to 88 houses in green fields opposite the industrial estate in Pitronnerie Road have prompted concerned neighbours to form the Pitronnerie Protection Group to lobby against the plans.
A Draft Development Framework published by the States' Development & Planning Authority recently estimated that between 45 and 88 houses could be built on the agricultural fields, which cover an area of 1.6 hectares between La Vrangue and Pitronnerie Road.
The Pitronnerie Protection Group said it is "concerned about the loss of a valuable, natural amenity" and "worried about the consequences of replacing fields and trees with a dense development of an estimated 48 to 88 houses".
But the President of the Development & Planning Authority, Deputy Victoria Oliver, defended the Draft Development Framework as a necessary move in the light of widespread demands for more housing and several politicians' claims that the island is in the middle of a housing crisis.
The Pitronnerie Protection Group intends not only to lobby against the development of the green fields but also to ask questions of the Development and Planning Authority about its development policies.
Lucy Cave, a member of the Group, said: “It’s not just local area residents who are concerned. There’s widespread concern when it comes to the Island Development Plan."
The Island Development Plan is the vehicle through which the States' Assembly guides planning policy across the island and against which planning applications are determined.
“This field is being used for agriculture. But it is uncategorised in the Island Development Plan, so it almost makes it fair game for developers, which is quite concerning," said Ms Cave.
Pictured: The Pitronnerie Protection Group argues that developing up to 88 houses on a green field opposite the industrial estate in Pitronnerie Road would exacerbate traffic congestion in the area.
The Group has questioned the Development & Planning Authority on two points.
"Planners have developed a Draft Development Framework for the fields south of Pitronnerie Road," said the Group. "However, on the Island Development Plan 2016, the area to the rear of houses on Rue Thomas is earmarked as housing allocation. Residents are asking why there has been no Draft Development Framework published for this area and why the States are instead using taxpayers' money to have planners develop Frameworks for areas that were not demarcated on the Island Development Plan as housing allocation.
“The Group is also questioning why the Development & Planning Authority is developing Frameworks for green fields rather than focusing on brownfield sites.”
Express put the Group's questions to the President of the Development & Planning Authority, Deputy Victoria Oliver.
Deputy Oliver said: “The Draft Development Framework for the land at Pitronnerie Road covers a site of approximately 1.6 hectares (9.9 vergées) and includes two landowners.
"The Authority was approached by one of the landowners, the majority owner, to bring forward a Development Framework. Work began on preparing a Draft Development Framework in 2018 but was stopped following a decision by the Authority to prioritise resources towards allocated sites first.
"The landowners were informed that this site would not be a priority for the Authority. However, they were free to work on preparing a document at their own risk. The landowner’s agent submitted a draft document for consideration in June of this year. In light of the housing crisis, the Authority deemed it appropriate to commit resources to completing this work and to bring forward the Draft Development Framework.
Pictured: Members of the Development & Planning Authority have published a Draft Development Framework for up to 88 houses on green fields opposite the industrial estate at Pitronnerie Road. The President of the Authority, Deputy Victoria Oliver, pictured top left, said there is a pressing need to identify more sites for housing developments.
“While nobody likes to see green fields disappear, because this site is within the Main Centre Outer Area it is not otherwise designated or protected and therefore is suitable in principle for housing development through the Island Development Plan. A Development Framework provides guidance on how that development is best achieved and balanced with other interests such as open space, amenity and conservation.
“With regard to the nearby allocated housing site at La Vrangue, to the west of Rue Thomas, work on completing a Draft Development Framework has been progressed by the Authority as a priority following the recent publication of the Development Framework for the Belgrave Vinery allocated housing site. A Draft Development Framework for this site will be published for consultation in the near future.
“A range of development opportunities are required in the current circumstances and sites such as that at Pitronnerie Road will play an important role in helping to address the island’s pressing housing needs.
"A number of proposals for development of brownfield sites are also being brought forward at the present time and States’ assets are being actively considered for development where appropriate.”
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