Archive for October, 2009

Guernsey Housing Association offers Public Viewing of completed homes at Victoria Avenue

October 31st, 2009 by Steve

The Guernsey Housing Association is pleased to be able to open three properties to public view on Saturday 31 October 2009 between 2 and 4 pm.  This is to increase the public awareness about the new social housing being produced in Guernsey.  The properties which are a part of the Sir John Leale Avenue development on Victoria Avenue have been designed using very high levels of insulation and other energy saving features. Residents in these properties should halve their normal fuel costs.

The 58 homes on this development have been designed using very high levels of insulation, draught proofing, with solar panels used to create hot water and heating linked into an Ecostor low tariff boiler. There is also a heat recovery ventilation system meaning that warm stale air is extracted and heats up the fresh air drawn in. The calculations show that residents should halve their normal fuel costs.

With full support and encouragement from the States Housing Department, GHA has worked with Guernsey consultants, contractors and suppliers to produce this energy efficient new housing. Our main construction partners are Lovell Ozanne, Brittain Hadley, JW Rihoy, DHS, and Norman Piette/Kingspan. All our partners have contributed ideas and expertise to produce high quality homes that will be economic to run. Both GHA and the Housing Department are keen to help tackle fuel poverty and lead the way in the provision of cheap to heat, energy-efficient homes.

There are 49 homes for rent and 9 homes for partial ownership. The rented homes are all bungalow style, chiefly one bedroom, with some 2 bedroom, the second bedroom either ground floor or in the roofspace. Many of the one bedroom bungalows have been designed to allow for an inexpensive conversion of the loftspace in the future if we need more 2 bed accommodation.

The bungalows are aimed at housing older people and have mobility access, with wider doorways, lower window heights and shower rooms.

So the 2 main themes of the Sir John Leale Avenue development are energy efficiency and accessibility.

Steve Williams, GHA’s Chief Executive said ‘We are delighted to be providing these new homes, which I am sure will be very popular. We have learnt a great deal on this design and are now applying that knowledge to more new developments for the future.’

The first phase of 17 homes completes this month, with a second phase of 19 homes next February and the remaining 22 homes by next July.

The Housing Minister, Deputy Dave Jones said, ‘The properties on the old Victoria Avenue site have been replaced by modern eco-friendly dwellings. These new bungalows will be much kinder to the environment and will save tenants money as well. These homes set a new benchmark for eco-friendly social housing in Guernsey, and the Housing Department is proud to have played a vital part in their origin. The Department will continue working closely with the GHA to deliver more outstanding new developments of similar type.

The bungalows will be offered to Housing Department tenants who are either under-occupying two and three-bedroomed States Houses, or living on estates that are due for redevelopment. ‘As our tenants move to Sir John Leale Avenue and become GHA tenants, their old properties will either be reallocated to families on the Department’s waiting list or demolished to make way for new social housing developments,’ said Deputy Jones. ‘It’s all part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to rationalise its stock and, together with the GHA, increase the provision of social housing on the Island.

‘I would also take this opportunity to thank all States Members, past and present, for the fantastic support they have given to the Corporate Housing Programme. Without that support, much of what we have achieved with GHA would not have been possible. It is a real success story for the States of Guernsey.’

GHA’s contractor is JW Rihoy and their Managing Director, Gavin Rihoy was keen to highlight the fresh approach to this development, saying ‘The whole construction industry is now focusing new designs on more energy efficient buildings, and this development is a great example of that. People often complain about stricter building regulations putting up the price of construction, but meeting those regulations means a scheme like this is a viable option when compared with traditional building techniques. Undoubtedly this will benefit the residents with reduced fuel bills, but as these energy efficient designs gather pace, our whole environment will benefit.’

Guernsey Housing Association is an independent not-for-profit company, but works in close partnership with the States Housing Department to help deliver the Corporate Housing Programme for the islands people. GHA’s Directors are unpaid volunteers.

Copenhagen Children – views on climate change

October 29th, 2009 by Richard Lord

Children can be forthright and funny.

Channel 4 News Reports on the Green Fiscal Commission paper on proposals to tackle climate change

October 26th, 2009 by Channel 4 News

The UK’s Green Fiscal Commission has issued a report “Doing What it Takes to Redue Carbon Emissions: The Case for Green Fiscal Reform” on using fiscal policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The tax policy would be revenue neutral by taxing fossil fuel energy usage and using the revenue to subsidise energy efficiency measures and reward environmentally conscious consumers.  Income taxes and National Insurance contributions would be reduced to compensate for the increase in energy and carbon taxes.

A summary of the Inter-Channel Island Environment meeting on 1 and 2 October 2009

October 26th, 2009 by Alderney Wildlife Trust

The annual Inter-Channel Island Environment meetings are aimed at increasing communication not only within the Channel Islands but also by creating and building links with other islands and the United Kingdom.

The Alderney Wildlife Trust prepared notes on the meeting of 1 and 2 October 2009 held in the Anne French Room, Island Hall, Alderney.

Conservation Legislation in Jersey by Lindsey Napton, States of Jersey Environment Department

International conventions and treaties – Lindsey noted that Jersey and the Channel Islands in general, as Crown Dependencies, have no independent status in international law.

International Conventions that Jersey is signed up to, and related local legislative/strategic instruments,

include:

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Bern and Bonn Conventions

Local legislation implementing the above three conventions includes:

  • Conservation of Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2000 – only covers listed species (no insects yet listed)
  • Planning & Building (Jersey) Law 2002 – provides for list of sites of special interest (11 sites) and list of protected trees (includes shrubs and hedgerows)
  • CITES – trade in endangered species – local legislation still in draft form
  • Ramsar Convention

4 Ramsar sites in Jersey (3 offshore reefs and S.E. coast)

Biodiversity Strategy for Jersey – fulfils CBD but not legally binding

Biodiversity Action Plans – 1 habitat action plan, 44 species action plans – useful in planning applications

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Bill McKibben talks about the International Day of Climate Action

October 24th, 2009 by Richard Lord

Bill McKibben talks about his 350 campaign and the International Day of Climate Action. He says the next six weeks leading up to the climate conference in Copenhagen are critical. Climate change is the most serious issue facing humanity and politicians are going to have to be strong and tough. It will hard work to get a meaningful binding agreement to move away from fossil fuels and reduce carbon dioxide emissions but humanity has no choice. Not to do so would be much worse.

Guernsey’s participation in the Global 350.org International Day of Climate Action campaign

October 24th, 2009 by Events

Guernsey residents took part in the global 350.org initiative on International Day of Climate Action to raise awareness for the need for human society to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as soon as possible. Over 5,500 communities around the world voiced their support for political action and a binding resolution at the Copenhagen climate conference in December to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to a level, which will reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations to 350 part per million or below. Many scientists agree that if humanity is to avert catastrophic climate change, which entails rising sea levels, marine food chain disruptions from ocean acidification, and a redistribution of rainfall, then atmospheric carbon dioxide levels must be reduced from the present level of 387 ppm. Currently this concentration is rising by about 2 ppm per year. The higher the level of C02 in our atmosphere the higher the level of water vapour, which will further accelerate climate change.

Guernsey residents show their support for 350.org's International day of Climate Action on 24 October 2009 (click image to expand ©Andrew Le Poidevin)

Andrew Le Poidevin's photograph of Guernsey residents showing support for the International Day of Climate Action on Vazon Beach (click image to expand - ©Andrew Le Poidevin)

Lime Plastering Workshop on 14 November 2009 by Michael Le Noury

October 23rd, 2009 by Events

Professional builder and plasterer Michael Le Noury offers a one day workshop on lime plastering on Saturday 14 November.  The workshop runs from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm and is limited to ten people. No previous experience is necessary.

Michael will show the uses and techniques of lime application including plastering, pointing and lime washing.  There will be an opportunity to try the techniques yourself.

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Protective eye-wear and gloves and handouts will be provided.

What you will need to bring

Old Clothes
Sturdy footwear
Your own lunch or ‘pot luck’ to share…
Pen and notebook if you wish to take notes

Cost £55.00

To book please call Michael on 07781 120175 or Tara on 07781 131711 or email here for a booking form.

To download the course details please click here

Why is lime mortar better than cement?

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A Presentation by Peter Fraenkel, Technical Director of Marine Current Turbines

October 21st, 2009 by Richard Lord

The Channel Island Group of Professional Engineers (CIGPE) is pleased to announce a forthcoming lecture on how to get non-polluting energy from the seas using Marine Current turbines. The Lecture will be held at the Duke of Richmond Hotel on the 21st October 2009.

Peter Fraenkel, Technical Director of Marine Current Turbines

Guernsey Slow Food Group Visit to local artisan cheese maker Fenella Maddison

October 21st, 2009 by Events

The Guernsey Slow Food Group will visit local artisan cheese maker Fenella Maddison on 11 November at 7 pm.

Fenella is an “Artisan cow and goat cheesemaker” and has been trading since late last year. Initially her aim was to produce just goat’s cheese but it soon became apparent that the goat milk supply was too small to be commercially viable on its own.

Although the plan was to make some cheese from cows’ milk, it dominates Fenella’s cheese production now. Currently Fenella produces cheese from 42 litres of goats’ milk per month and from 600 litres of cows’ milk.

Fenella Maddison's Tomlins goats' cheese (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

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Recreational fisherman lands large stingray near Vermerette off Herm Island on 18 October 2009

October 19th, 2009 by Richard Lord

A recreational angler caught a 59 lb exactly (26.76 kgs.) female stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, in shallow water near Vermerette off Herm’s west coast (about 400 yards from Herm harbour) just before low water on the afternoon of Sunday 18 October 2009.

The ray had a total length of 124 cm and a disc width of 76 cm. The stomach of the fish contained about 20 well-digested sandeels and some small shrimp (it is a bottom feeder.)   The liver weighed 4859 grams (10.7 lbs.).

Former Guernsey Press angling correspondent Len Le Page said that this fish is just shy of the British boat-caught angling record for stingray.

The 59 lbs. female stingray, Dasyatis pastinaca, caught off Vermerette about 400 yards from Herm harbour (click image to expand - ©RLLord)