Deputy Andrew Taylor announced his resignation from the Development & Planning Authority this morning - just half an hour before the start of an open planning meeting on Leale's Yard.
The Authority's Vice President said he was resigning over the Authority's alleged mishandling of the Co-op's application for a landmark commercial and residential development on 13 acres of land behind the shops on the Bridge seafront.
In a statement released at 09:00, Deputy Taylor, pictured top, raised concerns about "conflicts of interest" within the Authority and accused other members of "pre-determination" of the Leale's Yard application ahead of today's open planning meeting.
"Whilst supportive of the principle of regeneration of the Bridge area, my concerns surrounding this particular application have increased significantly in recent weeks, ultimately leading to this decision," said Deputy Taylor.
"My concerns relate principally to conflicts of interest and an apparent disregard for the [States'] Rules of Procedure; meetings that have taken place without the knowledge of all Authority members and without minutes being shared; and pre-determination of members."
Pictured: The proposal to develop Leale's Yard is believed to be the island's single largest private development application.
The Authority's officials are recommending that politicians should approve the application to develop the former industrial site to provide more than 300 homes, 5,800sqm of retail space, 8,000sqm of commercial space, a multi-storey car park, new service roads and green spaces, albeit with 26 conditions on the developers.
The Authority is due to consider the application at an open planning meeting at 09:30 at Beau Sejour. Its members will consider officials' recommendations alongside representations from interested parties before voting on whether to grant planning permission for the ambitious scheme.
Mark Cox, Chief Executive of the Channel Islands Co-op, last week welcomed the backing of the Authority's officials and said he hoped politicians would grant planning permission today to allow the retailers and its development partners, Omnibus Investments, to "get on site as soon as possible".
"The Co-op and our development partner are delighted that the planning officers' rigorous technical assessment supports our plans for the redevelopment of the Leale’s Yard site," said Mr Cox.
"Along with the overwhelmingly positive response from the local community...the Co-op is optimistic that the continued hard work and commitment by many on this long-running vision will soon come to fruition.
"This scheme, when it is delivered, will bring over 350 new homes as well as recreation, shopping, community and employment spaces on a plot of land that is presently redundant. It is a once-in-a-generation chance to increase the opportunities for young islanders who are struggling to find a new place they can call home."
Watch: A video produced by the States which explains the purpose and structure of open planning meetings.
Deputy Taylor said that he was resigning "with great disappointment" from a seat he has held since his election as a deputy in October 2020.
"I will not be answering questions on [my] statement, but will likely expand on my reasoning in an upcoming meeting of the States of Deliberation," he said.
Express approached the President of the Authority, Deputy Victoria Oliver, at just after 06:30 for her reaction to her Vice President's resignation, but no comment had been received by 09:00.
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