Guernsey Airport runway rebuild needs more land

The States of Guernsey has been asked to approve the compulsory purchase of two pieces of land to allow the airport runway redevelopment to go ahead.

If approved the land would be used for approach lights.

The Public Services Department said the purchase was urgent as without permission of the landowner a planning application could not be made.

It said any delays to the project could add significantly to the cost of these works, already estimated to be £81m.

The runway work involves maintenance and improvements to taxiways, the apron, lighting, drainage, extension of the runway end safety areas and the move of the current runway by about 120m to the west.

This move means the approach lights at both the eastern and western ends also need to be moved as the visual aids for pilots need to be positioned relative to the runway.

The two land areas, owned by different people, measure 1.21 vergees (2,000 sq m) and 0.4 vergees (655 sq m).

Twelve other landowners have already agreed to having the new lights on their properties or have given their consent for the planning application to go ahead.

Additional costs

Public Services Minister Bernard Flouquet said: "This essential, strategic project cannot proceed until we either have the consent of all the current owners or, if agreement cannot be negotiated, the States acquires those parcels of land required to install and maintain the lights.

"We are already now looking at potential delays to the project and we cannot let that continue indefinitely."

The contract with preferred tenderer Lagan Construction cannot be signed until planning approval has been given and the Environment Department has previously indicated it would require 17 weeks to consider the application.

If the signing of the contract is delayed beyond 31 October, when Lagan's tender price is due to expire, Public Services would either have to renegotiate the price, to reflect inflation in the cost of materials, or go out to tender again.

The department said the company had indicated a three-month delay could incur additional costs of £2.1m.

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