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Environment Department Launches a Review of the Island's Development Plans

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Thursday 16 February 2012

On 16 January 2012 the Environment Department began a review of the Development Plans for the Island, the Urban and Rural Area Plans.

What is the purpose of a Development Plan?

A Development Plan is effectively a blueprint for the planning and development of Guernsey which, if approved by the States, will form the basis on which the Environment Department will consider planning applications.

Why are the Development Plans being reviewed?

The Plans need to be reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose to serve the Island over the coming years.

In addition, Development Plans for the Island must be in line with the new Strategic Land Use Plan, a statutory document put in place by the Policy Council of the States of Guernsey, which was adopted in November 2011.

The Review process will take two to three years. While this may seem like a long time, this is to ensure that the Department is able to carry out necessary research and that the public have sufficient opportunity to be involved in the Review. The Review will include an Inquiry into the new Plan(s) by an independent Planning Inspector.

It should be noted that the Plan Review will not change how planning applications are considered now. Until the Plan Review is complete and the new policies are formally approved by the States (envisaged in 2014), current Development Plans and policies remain in force and planning applications will continue to be determined according to those policies.

Relationship between the Strategic Land Use Plan, 'Guernsey Tomorrow' and the Review of the Development Plans

The findings of the extensive 'Guernsey Tomorrow' public consultation exercise contributed to the development of the strategic policies of the Strategic Land Use Plan. These strategic policies will now inform the drafting of the policies of the new Development Plan(s). Put simply, the Strategic Land Use Plan has stated 'what' must happen in terms of development of the Island. The role of Development Plan policies developed through the Plan Review is to determine 'how' and 'where'.

Public Consultation

Extensive public consultation is integral to the Development Plan drafting process. This is to ensure that as many people as possible have their say about the future development of the Island and complements other information and research findings.

There will be three main consultation stages during the Plan Review. Environmental Assessment of policies and proposals will be carried out throughout the Review process.

General Topics: This stage. Comments are invited on the 'Big Issues' Topic Papers until the 16 March 2012.

Key Issues and Options: Comments on the General Topic Papers used to inform the production of more focused Issues Papers. The Environment Department will invite further comments at this stage.

Draft Plan and Public Inquiry: The Environment Department publishes the Draft Plan. Representations can be submitted to an Independent Planning Inquiry.

From 16 January 2012, the Environment Department is inviting comments on a series of 'Big Issues' through a series of topic papers - six in all - which are available free of charge to interested members of the public.  The issues covered by the Topic Papers are:

Environment Minister, Deputy Peter Sirett said:

    "The Big Issues are the key considerations of the Plan Review process and the Environment Department would like to get 
    as many people's opinions as possible about the issues posed.

    If individuals or organisations want to have a say in how the Island will develop over the coming years this is an important 
    time to become involved."

Copies of the 'Big Issues' Topic Papers (including response forms) are available here. Islanders can also collect a copy from one of our Plan Review information sessions, from the Environment Department Reception Desk at Sir Charles Frossard House, or by emailing planreview@gov.gg

Information Sessions

In January and February the Environment Department will be holding a number of information sessions to introduce the Plan Review and encourage Islanders to get involved in the Review of the Development Plans. They are open sessions and anyone can attend.

Plan Review Launch info session 1

Thursday 19 January 2012

13:00 - 17:00

Inner Market Building, St Peter Port

Plan Review Launch info session 2

Friday 20 January 2012

9:00 - 13:00

Inner Market Building, St Peter Port

Plan Review Launch info session 3

Saturday 18 February 2012

10:00 - 12:30

Le Friquet Garden Centre

Plan Review Launch info session 4

Saturday 25 February 2012

10:00 - 12:30

St Martins Community Centre

Staying Informed

A newsletter appeared in the Guernsey Press on 16 January 2012 giving general information on the Plan Review.

The Department has also produced a 'Community Guide to the Plan Review' for further information on the Plan Review, how to access documents and how Islanders can expect to be consulted. This can be downloaded here or collected from the Environment Department reception desk at Sir Charles Frossard House.

A wide range of groups and organisations will be contacted directly by the Environment Department for the comments. A full list of consultees is available in the 'Community Guide to the Plan Review'.

Islanders can ask to be added to the consultee list and register for Plan Review updates by email by sending their name and email address to planreview@gov.gg. We are also on Twitter @planreviewgsy.

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