Ietter to Invironment

October 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm. States & Douzaine.

 

 

 

Your Reference: FULL/2011/2936

 

The Chief Planning Officer
Environment Department
Sir Charles Frossard House
La Charotterie
St Peter Port
GUERNSEY
GY1 1FH

 

18th  October, 2011
Dear Sir

 

OBJECTION TO SUBMITTED PLANS for WORKERS VILAGE AT A FOREST VINERY

We are writing to lodge our very strong objections with the Environment Department to Lagan/PSD’s application to build accommodation for up to 158 workers on Mr Robert Plumley’s vinery, directly adjacent to the Mallard Hotel, Forest.
Contravention of Planning Laws and the RAP
Like many other elements of this project, this proposal, for a temporary site, is in direct contravention of the Rural Area Plan. We have seen many applications to use “old vinery sites” in any way shape of form firmly refused by the environmental Department in the past. This site is most definitely not a derelict site as has been implied.
The location proposed for the “workers village” is part of a working vinery complex. There is little doubt that if Mr Robert Plumley had applied in his own name to convert all or part of his land into residential accommodation (even on a temporary basis) the application would have been refused. Indeed, not so long ago, we believe that The Mallard proposed a development incorporating much of this land which was refused on RAP grounds.

Where there is no strategic necessity for Planning Laws and RAP to be set aside, surely government should not act outside of the planning framework it has itself established as being in the best interests of the island.

Traffic
The entrance to and from the vinery is onto a main thoroughfare that has a sharp corner, no street lighting of any kind and no pavement. Whilst we understand that workers will go to and from work by bus, it is unreasonable to expect that these same workers will not wish to walk or cycle to the local amenities on Forest road. Pedestrians and cyclists walking up and down the road area hazard to themselves and others. Equally has any thought gone into how many of these workers will want to hire/buy their own transportation whilst on the island. Where will these be parked and how much more traffic will this bring to an already dangerous road

Child Safety
The vinery site backs directly onto the Mallard cinema and Le Rondin School and is a couple of minutes walk from Forest Primary School. It is also next to arterial bus routes for secondary school children.
We have been reassured that the workers will be subject to police checks which is welcome as a sensible screening policy. However, having worked as an HR Professional for a number of years, I am well aware that if people want to hide their past it can be done.  Equally I have experienced during these years that Police Checks only identify  people who have been caught doing wrong, there are very many occasions when drug abuse, assaults, both physically and mentally to young and old alike, etc have happened and these offenders have never been caught and therefore have no criminal convictions.
To say they will all have police clearance really doesn’t cover all eventualities. It is not actual criminal activity that affects quality of life so much as fear of criminal activity in many shapes and forms. Will parents be as keen to let their children go to the cinema alone when they know that there are 150 workers in a camp next door? Will parents be as keen to allow their children to catch the bus home after dark? Will children feel as safe wandering down the road to the local amenities?  Please think long and hard before you make this decision
Because of our very serious concerns for the safety of the young, road users and parishioners we are strongly objecting to these plans

We are not willing to just sit back and wait for an incident/accident to happen or the possibility of harm to our young people and road users  therefore  we must refuse this application in order to ensure that this never happens

 Yours faithfully

Maurice & Janice Nobes

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