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They think it's 'wall' over...

Thursday 28 November 2019

They think it's 'wall' over...

Thursday 28 November 2019

The wall at the eastern end of L'ancresse Bay could be saved as a political challenge has been made to the previous States decision to take part of it down.

Led by Policy and Resources Member, Deputy Al Brouard, a seven-strong group of deputies have signed a requête saying a ten year period of maintenance to stabilise the wall should be agreed instead.

The requête was lodged late yesterday, hours after Deputy Barry Brehaut referred to the wall in his speech to the States giving an update on behalf of the Committee for the Environment and Infrastructure. 

The E&I President wasn't surprised by the move, and replies to a tweet he posted on the matter suggested the move was linked with next year's election.

Deputy Brehaut had earlier said that the removal of the damaged section of the wall, near the kiosk, was still reliant on the delivery of an environment impact assessment. That is due to be presented to the States for consideration during the summer of next year.  

That will be almost three years after the States initially voted in favour of a managed realignment of the eastern end of L'ancresse Bay with the removal of part of the German-built anti tank wall. 

lancresse wall

Pictured: L'ancresse Bay. The wall which runs the length of it was built during the Occupation by slave workers under the orders of the German occupying forces, it was designed to stop tanks landing on the island. 

It is acknowledged by all that the wall is damaged and dangerous in places, but there has long been a split in views over what should happen to it. 

The requêrants - Deputies Brouard, Jane Stephens, Neil Inder, Laurie Queripel, Peter Ferbrache, Andrea Dudley-Owen and Rob Prow - all agree it is damaged, but they want the current work to stop and they believe there is "merit in agreeing to suspend implementation of Option 7b (the managed realignment) for a period of at least 10 years."

Instead they want to see a period of maintenance which they believe would protect the attractiveness of the bay.

"Your petitioners recognise that the integrity of the section of the wall that will be effected by the proposed works will gradually decline if no works are carried out. They further recognise that some maintenance should be carried out in order to ensure that it is kept safe. However they are of the view that the carrying out of the totality of the works comprised in "Option 7b" will, amongst other things, detract significantly from the attractiveness of the area. In particular your Petitioners believe that the construction of the rock armour groins on what is a pristine beach area will not prove to be visually attractive, and there are substantial risks that the envisaged re-alignment of a bay within a bay may not occur."

The estimated cost of the work to remove the damaged section of the wall, construct rock armour groynes and the managed realignment of the bay was estimated at £1million in 2017.

The requête proposes a short term budget of £100,000 and a maintenance budget of £200,000. It is likely to be debated in January or February.

Pictured top: Deputy Al Brouard and the L'ancresse wall. 

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