St Peter Port's place as the main hub of Guernsey life is still being threatened by the dominance of traffic along the seafront, according to the latest review of the island's main centres.
Conducted as part of the Island Development Plan, the 2018 Main Centres Survey and Local Centres Survey looked at all residential and retail hubs in the island to see how they are performing.
The findings will be used when the IDP is subject to an Annual Monitoring Report.
With regards to Guernsey as a whole, a survey found the island scored highly on the Better Life Indications report, which rates things like the economy, quality of life and the island's place in the world.
Pictured: Guernsey's rating under the Better Life Indicators.
However, with regards to St Peter Port, the 2018 survey found the island's capital is suffering as 'the dominance of traffic along the seafront remains an issue, which divorces the harbour area from the rest of Town'.
The report found that"
"According to evidence (2017 Retail Survey and 2013 Vision), improvements to the public realm would be welcomed, including an increase in pedestrianised areas, which could also act as a measure to enhance vitality and viability. These are issues being considered as part of the wider Seafront Enhancement Area which is one of the States identified priorities."
The survey also found cycle infrastructure has improved but there continues to be a lack of green spaces in town.
When looking at the use of buildings within St Peter Port, the survey found little has changed with the outer parts of town predominantly residential, the central parts of St Peter Port featuring a mix of retail, office and residential while offices line the main routes into the town centre too. A variety of non‐residential uses also line the piers within the Harbour Action Area.
Within the main town centre area, the number of empty buildings has risen over the last year with 17 units recorded as vacant - the majority of those had previously been used as retail (6 units), and 5 units were previously uses as café, restaurant or bars.
Pictured: The Bridge is Guernsey's second main shopping area.
A previous survey in 2013 found the Bridge area was not performing as well as it could, with the latest research finding that concerns over the St Sampson's/Vale retail hub were rented on the 'perceived over‐development of housing and associated problems with traffic and accessibility'.
The 2018 report found; "This relates primarily to the delivery of housing sites including the Pointues Rocques and Cleveleys housing allocations, as well as windfall sites in the area. This topic of housing will be discussed in detail in the 2018 Annual Monitoring Report, including a review of planning permissions and completions. The Main Centres Thematic Report, as part of the AMR, will review non‐residential planning applications within the Bridge Main Centre."
Overall the report found the Bridge suffers from a lack of long stay car parking.
"The area is dominated by traffic and people often park, go to one or two shops and leave again. There appears to be a relatively short stay of shoppers with limited dwell time."
The Main Centre Survey 2018 and Local Centre Survey 2018 reports can be read in full at gov.gg/planningpolicy under ‘Technical Reports’ or copies are available from Sir Charles Frossard House.
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