St Ouen looking at sites for affordable housing scheme
PLANS for an affordable housing scheme in St Ouen are due to be announced within weeks with a number of sites being considered for development in the parish, the Constable has said.
Two years ago St Ouen established a waiting list for affordable housing as it looks to emulate schemes in Trinity and St Martin to create new sections of village within the parish where homes can be bought at a discounted price for first time buyers.
Constable Richard Buchanan said that around 200 people signed up to the waiting list in 2017 and work has since been carried out to identify a number of possible sites within the parish where homes may be built.
‘We have asked Clive Murphy to look into potential sites for affordable housing in St Ouen and I think they have identified a few areas we could look at,’ he said.
‘We will be making an announcement on this in the next few weeks. I can’t say how many units we might be able to deliver at this time. I don’t want to get people’s hopes up unnecessarily and make promises we can’t deliver.
‘But if we are able to do something I would like parishioners to have a fair share of the affordable homes but there is obviously some debate about that at the moment.’
He added that a village plan would need to be produced to develop a scheme in St Ouen, which would require work with the Planning Department and ultimately approval by the States Assembly.
Recently questions were raised over why a glass house site in St Ouen on Rue des Cosnets, called Field 785, had not yet been developed for affordable housing despite being rezoned for the purpose in 2014 in an amendment to the Island Plan.
Mr Buchanan said that it was ‘out of the control’ of the parish whether the site could be used for affordable housing as it is private land but they would like to develop it, if the owner agrees.
‘It’s owned by the Fraser family and I understand that they have been in conversation with Andium Homes about this matter,’ he said.
‘We would encourage them to bring the site forward because we are looking to develop affordable housing in St Ouen. But their rights have to be respected because it is private land. We can’t force them to do it.’
Recently plans to develop the proposed Ville du Manoir affordable housing scheme in St Peter were knocked back by the States Assembly, with concerns raised over the suggested site being in an area of protected green land.
But other schemes have been successfully developed in rural parishes in recent years, such as Le Grand Clos in Trinity and the De La Mare Nurseries site in Grouville.
Earlier this month Deputy Inna Gardiner lodged a proposition calling for first-time buyer housing schemes to be open to all Islanders on the Affordable Housing gateway rather than priority being given to individuals with links to the parish where a project is developed, as has been the case with the recent schemes.