Any impact from traffic, noise, busyness, water quality, heritage and wildlife would only be minor if the right steps were taken when infilling a 500m stretch to the south of Longue Hougue.
This was the key message from an Environmental Impact Assessment the States have had compiled while looking at using the area between Spur Point and the Longue Hougue for inert waste, and the development of a new waste facility.
The EIA saw 13 in-depth studies done on different subject areas, from traffic, to air quality, to human health, and those were all compiled into the assessment.
While it did identify the possibility of "significant adverse effects", it also proposed mitigation measures to offset the impact.
Pictured: Some of the reasoning for wanting to use the Longue Hougue South site outlined in the report, which was put together by Royal HaskoningDHV, which was commissioned to carry out the studies.
The most significant effect would be the substantially negative visual impact in the immediate vicinity of the development, due to the loss of the current coastal area. Further away, there would also be a moderate adverse impact on the visual landscape.
Another major concern of the possible development was the Scaly Cricket. The section of shingle foreshore next to Spur Point is known as a habitat for the rare insect, but that would be lost in the development. The EIA, in consultation with La Society Guernesaise, however, found there were 11 other sites on the island where the crickets were living, and so the population at Spur Point could be relocated.
"[And] with appropriate mitigation, any impacts on traffic, noise, population, water quality, archaeology and cultural heritage, and ecology and wildlife would, at worst, be minor," the report said.
Pictured: A separate programme is continuing to investigate future harbour requirements, as directed by the States in May. This includes an EIA for land reclamation to the east of the QE2 Marina, and examining potential for further port development at St Peter Port Harbour. That programme is also considering whether freight operations could be relocated away from Town.
The development being considered would extend the current land reclamation site southwards by around 500 metres. It would involve constructing a new breakwater from the south east corner of the Longue Hougue outer wall, to link to the shore at Spur Point. This would create an area that could be infilled using ‘inert’ waste from local construction projects, such as rubble, stone, and earth.
Reportedly, the development would also have some positive impacts, such as reduced flood risk and improved coastal defence.
The Development and Planning Authority is also working with the local industry on the implementing waste management plans for major construction developments. These look to encourage as much material as possible to be recycled within each building project.
These measures are expected to extend the life of the current land reclamation site and any future of inert waste facility. However there will continue to be a long term requirement for a site to dispose of material from the local construction industry, a large proportion of which is unsuitable for reuse.
The States’ Trading Supervisory Board will bring a policy letter to the States in early 2020, detailing the findings of the EIA and proposals for the next phase of the project.
Pictured: The DPA is working with local industry on ways to use inert waste as coastal defences.
A public drop-in session is being held at Beau Sejour this Friday, from 12:00 to 19:00, and Saturday, from 09:00 to 16:00. Members of the project team and experts from Royal HaskoningDHV will be on hand to answer any questions.
The full EIA and a non-technical summary can be downloaded from www.gov.gg/inertwaste.
Pictured top: The current Longue Hougue land reclamation site is expected to be full by around 2022, the new site would be directly off of the south of that area.
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