Public consultation on new Island Development Plan

15th November 2013

The States Environment Department’s current Rural and Urban Area Plans will be replaced by a new Island Development Plan.

Results have been released of a public consultation carried out during the summer, which focused on the key issue of providing affordable housing and particularly smaller units for first time buyers and those wishing to down-size. Housing suitable for older people was also considered to be an urgent requirement.

A new approach to identifying a five year supply of development land is proposed primarily through the ‘allocation’ of housing sites within and around specified Main Centres. Other sites may still come forward as ‘windfall sites’ (replacement with taller buildings, conversion, subdivision, infill, etc.).

The public consultation also included a ‘Call for Sites’ suggesting land within and around the designated Main and Local Centres, which may, in principle, be available for development. This was generally considered a positive process, but the consultation findings will not be released until further analysis has been carried out.

Several respondents supported building on former vineries, particularly for social housing, although it is thought a percentage limit should be set as to the amount of land to be developed and flexibility be shown not only in development for housing but also renewable energy and small scale employment uses.

The use of planning covenants was supported in bringing forward affordable, partial ownership and social housing. Tenure blindness (i.e. not differentiating between different tenures by their design or location) also received strong support.

The Environment Department expects to publish a draft Island Development Plan in Spring 2014. This will be subject to a public inquiry expected to be held in Autumn 2014 and representations both for and against the proposed policies can be submitted for consideration by an independent Planning Inspector.

The draft Island Development Plan together with any proposed changes will then be put forward for States consideration in 2015.