Demand for rock and sand could soon outstrip supply

- Advertisement -

Issues with the sourcing of building materials were discussed yesterday(WED), on the eighth day of the public examination of the Draft Bridging Island Plan.

The examination panel was told that around 540,000 tonnes of materials were needed every year for the building of new homes.

A minimum of ten years’ worth of minerals are supposed to be kept in reserve but current reserves are below that threshold.

Granite Products want an extension to their La Gigoulande Quarry incorporated into the Bridging Plan. The extension to the southern side would cover a field next to La Rue Bechervaise, one of Jersey’s green lanes.

Guy Titman, of Granite Products, said the vegetation in the area was ‘not unique in Jersey’ and promised: ‘We will be planting and replanting additional trees around the boundary.’

But St Mary Deputy David Johnson said: ‘The residents of the area had been led to believe that after the expiry of the present licence, it would be returned to its natural state. What is now an agricultural field will be replaced by a big hole. It will hardly be an aesthetic environment in which to live or walk or cycle.’

And St Peter resident Peter d’Anger agreed, saying: ‘There was very much an expectation among residents that the quarry was coming to an end. The situation is very different to what they had anticipated.

‘It’s unlikely that guests will want to stay in the Greenhills Hotel. The loss of the hotel will be another blow to our tourist industry, together with the loss of numerous jobs.’

Ian Gray, of Seymour Hotel Group, owners of the Greenhills, added: ‘Should planning permission be granted, guests will see an open-cast mine right outside our doorstep.’

He pointed out that another hotel, in Havre des Pas, had closed due to a lack of visitors when the area near it was industrialised, and said: ‘I don’t see how this will be any different.’

Mr Gray also questioned the predictions for population growth in Jersey, and the need for more building materials.

He said: ‘Within the Island, the number of tax returns has seen a vast reduction, which indicates that the population has gone down.

‘I can tell you with certainty that there has been a huge exodus in the number of people working in our sector.

‘The population is in a very different place from where it’s been in the last five years.’

The meeting also heard from Jason Simon, of the Simon Sand and Gravels quarry, who wished to expand his business. He said: ‘We have had to suspend extraction because the limit has been reached.’

However, Charles Alluto, chief executive of the National Trust for Jersey, argued against an extension. He said other European countries were investing in preserving their sand dune habitats: ‘We are proposing destroying ours to provide a mineral which is going to have to be imported in the future anyway. We are going to have to import sand, so why on earth would we continue to destroy our habitats?’

Mr Simon protested: ‘We are not talking about a virgin sand-dune landscape. We are talking about an area that has been worked for 50, 60, 70 years.’

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Recent Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.