A detailed planning application for 131 new homes has been submitted by Guernsey Housing Association (GHA) for Parc Le Lacheur, formerly Kenilworth Vinery.
These properties will be a mix of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes for social rental and partial ownership for local residents. Additionally, some homes may be used for key worker accommodation to help ensure that staff essential for the island’s health service have appropriate housing. Some of the site may also be developed as specialised supported housing for adults with learning difficulties.
This development will continue efforts to tackle the current pressing need to supply more new homes to the many people in the island requiring accommodation. The site was purchased for £6.5 million in November 2021 with funds agreed by the Policy & Resources Committee and with the support of the Committee for Employment & Social Security.
The plans also include a proposal for a large public park to be created with an emphasis on biodiversity, which all islanders will be able to use.
Access to Parc Le Lacheur, which is off Saltpans Road, is currently via Braye Road but it is hoped to also use the traffic light junction on Route Militaire in the future. In response to concerns about traffic in areas surrounding the development, plans include measures that will improve transport safety, convenience and choice.
The development aims to house single people, couples and some families which reflects the make-up of the more than 500 households on waiting lists for affordable housing (social rental and partial ownership). Properties are all offered to local residents, many of whom may already be living in the parish but in unsuitable accommodation.
Parc Le Lacheur, which has been named after Captain William Le Lacheur, a key historical Guernsey figure, is designated a housing priority area under the Island Development Plan, and the site already has an approved development framework, which is a pre-requisite to planning approval for a development of this size.
Steve Williams, Chief Executive at GHA, said: “This planning application is a further step forward in our efforts to make real progress towards meeting the housing needs of people in the island who cannot afford or find suitable accommodation that meet their household requirements. As is the case with all the developments we are currently progressing, we recognise the need to improve surrounding infrastructure and the creation of a large park for public use, alongside cycle and walking routes in the surrounding area, will support the wider community.”
Deputy Peter Roffey, President of the Committee for Employment and Social Security, said: “I’m pleased to see plans for this site develop and encouraged by the value of additional amenities for future residents and the wider community. While the location of developments will always be a source of debate, it is universally agreed that Guernsey needs more housing and this site has long been identified by the planners as one suitable for housing.
“These plans – and those for other housing developments – show the priority this State – working closely with the GHA – has put in meeting Guernsey’s housing crisis. More needs to be done as soon as possible but this represents a significant part of the response. I am particularly pleased to see the plans for a significant area of parkland. Those areas of Guernsey which are being asked to help bear the burden of extra housing must also receive better amenities as part of the package.”
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: “There are typically two main themes of opposition to new development: traffic impact and the loss of green spaces.
“When some of our current road infrastructure doesn’t adequately support the communities it serves, of course people will be concerned by the prospect of more development. However, we desperately need more housing – and we also need better infrastructure. That’s why plans being developed for these sites all include significant improvements to infrastructure, and we’re also looking in the round at road infrastructure in the north, which will act as a catalyst for a comprehensive approach to transport connectivity. The aim is to improve the range of transport options for people in the area by making more means of travel safer, more convenient and more attractive.
“I’m also really pleased that the plans include a new public park, which will benefit not just the residents of the new development but will be a real asset to the whole area and the island’s biodiversity.”