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Kenilworth Vinery - Frequently Asked Questions

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Below are the answers to a number of questions that islanders may have regarding the purchase of Kenilworth Vinery.

 

  • Why have you purchased Kenilworth Vinery when the States already owns other land and property?

    • The Housing Action Group has looked at all States-owned sites to identify any that would be suitable for development.
    • There are several States-owned sites that would be suitable for development, but these are either smaller than Kenilworth Vinery or are currently being used for other purposes.  
    • Kenilworth Vinery is a large, vacant site with an approved Development Framework. This presents the best opportunity to build many homes in a relatively short space of time and take steps to address the exceptionally high demand for affordable housing.
    • We are continuing to reduce the number of buildings that we work from to make more efficient use of our properties. So far, this has seen Cornet Street and Grange Road House vacated.
  • Why is there another development in the North of the island?

    • Many Islanders are concerned about the current pressures on housing, but few people want a new development near their homes. If we want to reduce the current pressure on housing, we need to provide more homes and these homes must be located somewhere. Through the Island Development Plan, the States agreed that new housing developments should be largely focused on the main centres, most of which are located around St Peter Port and the North of the island. Focusing developments in these areas makes the most efficient use of infrastructure and reduces reliance on cars due to proximity to local amenities.
    • Modern, purpose-built housing would be a positive addition to a site that is currently left unused. Part of the area being acquired is also designated as a protected open space which will provide an opportunity to create a green space or park to further benefit the local area.
  • What will be built on the site?

    • The exact types and quantities of properties is still in the process of being finalised. There is, however, the potential for up to 135 units which would include a blend of rental, partial ownership and perhaps key worker accommodation.
    • Current waiting lists and demographic projections indicate that the highest need is for single bed homes designed with accessibility in mind, as well as two-bedroom homes. Therefore, it is likely that these property types will make up a significant proportion of properties on this site.
  • Won't another development in this area increase traffic considerably?

    • A Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) was carried out as part of the Development Framework process in early 2021. There were no significant issues posed by this individual development during the two-month public consultation in 2019.  The TIA did identify that there are several developments around that area, and the cumulative effect of all of these being developed could have an impact on traffic. The Housing Action Group is taking this into consideration and is engaging with Traffic and Highway Services on any mitigations that might be necessary.
  • Won't this development place greater pressure on nearby schools?

    • We expect that the increase in the number of homes would not pose a problem to school capacity in the area, as neither Vale Primary and St Sampson's High School are operating at capacity. It should also be noted that the current unmet demand for social rental housing and key worker housing is largely from childless households. As such, the impact on schools is unlikely to be as substantial as the prospect of developing 100+ new homes might suggest.
  • Is there any risk of the area flooding?

    • As with much of the land around this area, most of the site sits on a zone with a 1 in 50-year flood risk. The Development Framework noted the requirement to introduce measures to mitigate the risk of flooding.
    • Historically, the North of the island has seen significant land reclamation. The success of this work centuries ago highlights the fact that with the ability of modern developers, flood remediation in the 21st Century is more than achievable.
  • What are the next steps?

    • Detailed plans will be drawn up addressing matters raised in the Development Framework. These plans will then be subject to the usual scrutiny, being made public and with an opportunity for comments to be made prior to a decision being made on planning. 
    • The President of the Development & Planning Authority is a member of the Housing Action Group, which has enabled the Group to take planning considerations into account at the outset of any proposals, rather than further down the line. Any proposals for the development of Kenilworth Vinery will still be subject to the same planning application process as other developments.
  • What else is the Housing Action Group doing?

    • The Housing Action Group has taken steps to understand the cause of the current housing pressure. Understanding the issue is the first step to resolving it.
    • Research to date has demonstrated that purchases from those living off-island do not appear to have been a significant factor in increasing the current pressure on housing. There also doesn't appear to have been a substantial increase in the population.
    • Although there hasn't been a substantial increase in the population, it is believed that the population now has a greater need for accommodation due to, for example, more young people leaving home, changes in what the community want from their housing and more relationships ending.
    • Amongst other work being carried out, the Housing Action Group is looking into more efficient methods of construction such as modular developments which could allow for faster development and less disruption and disturbance during construction.

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