No deal over Grouville field, say Planning

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While residents and the parish have no objections to the school acquiring Fields 263 and 263A for recreational and amenity use, they object to part of Field 263A being developed.

Deputy Carolyn Labey, who is also a member of the Education, Sport and Culture Committee, said: ‘The school has waited for more than 11 years for extra amenity space, and it’s wonderful that Education have negotiated to buy the extra area.

‘However, I think it is shortsighted of the Planning department to redesignate the remainder of Field 263A to the built-up zone.

There may be an opportunity in the future for the school to expand, and that land will be lost forever.

‘It is designated in the Island Plan as important open space, so I don’t see why Planning are considering allowing permission.’ Field 263A is owned by Patrick McCarthy, who is willing to sell part of the land to Education if he gets planning approval for two cottages on the remainder.

However, his application was refused over access and design details, a decision against which he is appealing.

Both Mr McCarthy and Planning director Peter Thorne refuted the allegation that any form of deal had been struck.

Mr Thorne said that the committee would not be redesignating Field 263A as it was already zoned for development.

‘The land is already in the built-up area, as “”important open space”” is a sub-designation for parts of the built-up area.

There is nothing to prevent the committee considering an application, and approving it, in the important open space area of the built-up area.’ Mr Thorne said that Mr McCarthy’s application had been turned down but the committee have said that they are not opposed to development at the northern end of the field, given the circumstances, once issues over access and design details had been resolved.

Mr Thorne also denied that they were ignoring the Island Plan.

‘The committee have to have regard to the Island Plan but also to other factors as well, and they have taken all of those into account and taken a decision accordingly.’ Mr McCarthy concurred with Mr Thorne’s comment.

He said: ‘I want to categorically say that no deal has been struck whatsoever.

Many of the people who are objecting are actually living in houses developed by me years ago.

Therefore, this is a case of nimbyism.’

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