THE Environment Minister says he is ‘envious’ of Guernsey’s planning policy of not allowing abandoned greenhouse sites to be turned into housing.
Deputy Steve Luce also said that granting planning permission to convert the structures into residential developments in some cases would discourage other Islanders with redundant greenhouses from returning them to agricultural land.
His comments come after a scheme to build 200 homes on a redundant glasshouse site in St Clement, which lies within the green zone, were approved earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Andium Homes has also identified Warwick Farm in St Helier – another disused glasshouse site – as a suitable place for building new homes.
Deputy Luce told States Members: ‘Very occasionally we look to Guernsey and might be envious of them and one thing that I am envious of is that in Guernsey they have been extremely strict with their greenhouse policies and they have never allowed any old or redundant greenhouses to be converted and built on for housing.
‘That is a rule they have stuck to very firmly. We as an Island have continuously said that we want old greenhouse sites to be returned to agriculture and used for an environmental benefit but every once in a while we have allowed the process of re-zoning debates in the Assembly, allowing large greenhouse sites to be turned into housing estates and we have done it again quite recently.’
He added: ‘That then gives hope to the owners of other greenhouse sites that, some time in the future, they too would benefit from planning permission which could be very financially advantageous.’Subscribe to our Newsletter