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P&R quizzed on unaffordability of Castel Hospital development

P&R quizzed on unaffordability of Castel Hospital development

Tuesday 19 September 2023

P&R quizzed on unaffordability of Castel Hospital development

Tuesday 19 September 2023

A deputy has sought clarification on a statement Deputy Peter Ferbrache made about any possible future development of Castel Hospital.

Deputy Andy Taylor has submitted several Rule 14 questions on the affordability of developing the Castel Hospital. His questions were triggered by a response Deputy Ferbrache gave to earlier queries submitted by Deputy Yvonne Burford.

After Deputy Burford asked for a reason for not utilising the Castel Hospital for ‘social, affordable or key worker housing’ Deputy Ferbrache said: 

“These decisions simply cannot yet be made not only because the site cannot affordably be developed (emphasis added), but because the site currently is operational with nowhere yet to relocate the services.” 

It was this statement Deputy Taylor has since sought clarification on. 

He asked: “When did the Policy & Resources Committee conduct an affordability/viability assessment for the development of the Câtel Hospital? If this was carried out:

a) How many units of accommodation were potentially available and at what cost?  

b) Can you publish any findings/recommendations of the above as an appendix to these questions?” 

Deputy Ferbrache replied as P&R President. He didn’t refer to any affordability or viability assessment, but instead spoke about “high level concepts” that had been explored to understand what was feasible. 

This work directly led to the enquiry with the Development & Planning Authority at the start of this year”. 

He said there are no reports to publish. 


Pictured: The future of the Castel Hospital hit headlines earlier this year after the DPA decided to list certain parts of it. 

When asked whether it was a recommendation by a “professionally qualified member of the States Property Services” which led to Deputy Ferbrache’s conclusion that the site “cannot affordably be developed” Deputy Ferbrache said: 

“The Committee has been advised by officers that the listing of elements of the Câtel Hospital building would make any development of the site more challenging, and potentially less attractive to external parties and would likely significantly reduce the potential in such a large and central site in single ownership.” 

Deputy Taylor asked if any consideration has been made to convert the redundant parts of the site into accommodation. 

“As noted in the original response, the Câtel Hospital is currently an operational site with approximately 300 healthcare staff working from the location,” said Deputy Ferbrache. 

“Working around the current operational requirements to develop individual parts of the building in isolation would be challenging but not impossible. More importantly however, the Committee believes that such an approach would significantly curtail the overall potential of the site and bring with it additional risks which it considers unnecessary exposure for the States of Guernsey. 


Pictured: Deputy Ferbrache has responded again to questions about the Castel Hospital. 

Deputy Ferbrache continued: “As Deputy Taylor is aware from his membership of the Development & Planning Authority, the Committee is keen to explore options for the comprehensive redevelopment of the site as a whole beyond the conversation of the existing buildings and extending into the adjacent King Edward VII site. It was the approach on this subject by States Property Unit on behalf of the Policy & Resources Committee that initiated the process that resulted in the DPA listing considerable parts of the site.   

“Given the significant potential of the sites by virtue of their unique size, location and ownership, the Committee believes that it would be counterintuitive to progress piecemeal development designed around so many protected featured, both internal and external to the property.

"It is only through considering the sites as a whole that it will be possible to identify the best possible use of the land and secure the best possible value from the community’s assets (which could include involving private developers or other innovative approaches).” 


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