At the end of July 2017 the States of Alderney’s Building Development Control Committee (BDCC), issued a green paper outlining multiple proposed changes to the Building Development (Alderney) Law, 2002.

Key within this paper was the proposal to establish a mechanism to enable developments of ‘strategic importance’ within the island’s heavily protected greenbelt (designated area). The Trust is very concerned that this is in effect a change in legal emphasis from NO DEVELOPMENT in the Green-belt to one of DEVELOPMENT AT NEED.

Whilst the Trust, in concert with the Alderney Society, has worked hard to be a constructive part of the current ‘Land Use Plan Review Process’, which is being run in parallel with the proposed law change, it cannot ignore the scope of the proposed revisions. The Trust views these as a fundamental change to the principles of the island’s Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is a resource which has existed in one form or another since the 1930s, and which was the single most important factor in creating Alderney’s current biologically diverse landscape. This landscape is not only loved by residents and visitors, it also has many biological and historical features of national and international importance. These features are important assets for ensuring not only the quality of life for residents but also the sustainability of life on the island in the future, especially in their support of tourism.


The organisations recognises that some aspects of the proposed changes are a matter of updating minor aspects of law and may well be of benefit to the island. However, importantly the proposal seems to:


1. fundamentally change the law's requirement; that no development (other than a number of minor listed exceptions) should be allowed within the ‘designated area’ (greenbelt); to one that specifically requires the States to give permission to projects, pending approval of the BDCC, which are judged as being of ‘Strategic Importance’. The terminology proposed to establish which projects might be given such sanction include wording such as ‘likely to be of’, 'the real possibility' and 'potential of'. It is the Trust's belief that given the proposed terminology and descriptions that most 'strategically important' projects would be of a very significant size in relation to Alderney and therefore would have a significant impact on the island's Greenbelt

2. undertake making changes by ordinance, rather than through a full change of law.

In view of the above, and given its constitutional remit, the Trust, together with the Alderney Society, has been receiving specialised legal advice from Ogier in Guernsey, who have been very generous with their time and support.

The Trust and Alderney Society are now looking to engage with the States of Alderney in the newly extended public consultation on the law change (concluding on 1st December), and in doing so is looking to try and establish a compromise solution which prevents the fundamental erosion of the current legal protection for the Greenbelt.
Over the next 12 weeks both organisations will be formally seeking the opinion of its membership on this matter and will also be inviting any resident or visitor to the island with concerns to get in touch and to take part in the public consultation process; once its scope has been declared by the States.

The Alderney Wildlife Trust can be contacted at admin@alderneywildlife.org or tel 01481 822935
The Alderney Society (Bridget McEwan) can be contacted at info@alderneysociety.org or tel 01481 823222

N.b. We would ask that those responding to the States of Alderney consultation who are willing to share their comments and submissions please copy them to either of the organisations so that they can be incorporated into their joint response 

 

Links

Alderney Society

Land Use Plan Review Process

Ogier

States of Alderney

States of Alderney public consultation

 

Downloads

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inspectors_report_land_use_plan_2017.pdf1.22 MB