Guernsey

Guernsey's derelict vineries 'can be developed'

Vinery site in Guernsey
Image caption Only one of three vinery sites approved for development since 2010 has been built on

Some derelict vinery sites are available for development, according to Guernsey's chief minister.

He made the statement a month on from a clash between two ministers over the use of sites to grow the economy.

Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said reviews dealing with population and development would make it easier for businesses to grow and homes to be built.

However, the statement said there were already derelict sites for small businesses or developers to use.

Environment Minister Yvonne Burford said changes made in 2010 to the planning laws "allows for changes of use for redundant glasshouse sites".

She suggested the lack of use of these sites showed a lack of public knowledge about the options, which she hoped to highlight.

Image caption In the past two years permission for 700 units of housing has been given, but only 150 have been built

Deputy Burford said of three vinery sites identified and allocated for industrial development under the current plan only one has had any development.

She said the main issue was the "affordability of land and premises, not availability or permission" for housing or industrial premises.

The States has a target for approving the building of 300 units of housing every year. In the past two years planning permission has been given for 700 units, but only about 150 have been built.

Commerce and Employment Minister Kevin Stewart said he would investigate why so many were not taken up and how development could be encouraged on those sites where permissions were already in place.

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