Guernsey Tomorrow Summary Report July 2010

July 28th, 2010 by Strategic Land Planning Group

Contents

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

SECTION2: OUR STARTING POINT

SECTION 3: IDENTIFYING SOME OF THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

SECTION 4: SELECTING AND PRIORITISING THE ISSUES

SECTION 5: GENERATING SOME OPTIONS

SECTION 6: GETTING SOME FEEDBACK

SECTION 7: EVALUATING THE OPTIONS – What’s happening now?

APPENDICES

PREFACE

This report is a summary of the Guernsey Tomorrow public involvement initiative. For more information and a fuller account of all the results please visit www.guernseytomorrow.gg .

The Guernsey Tomorrow initiative was organised to give people a say about the sort of place they would like Guernsey to be. Over one thousand people took part in one way or another. In order to involve a variety of people with a wide range of interests, more than one hundred groups and organisations were contacted. The people taking part in the structured meetings were self nominated as members of the contact groups. The drop-in sessions and exhibitions were open to everyone. As Guernsey Tomorrow relates to how the island will develop and change over the next 20 years or so, special efforts were made to involve younger people.

Throughout the process, politicians have taken a backseat. The aim has been to encourage people who would not ordinarily have a say to contribute to the policy making process in a spirit of openness and even-handedness. Involving people in this way does not substitute the political decision making process of democratically elected representatives but it does mean that involvement will genuinely inform and influence the policies that are debated by Deputies.

SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION

The Guernsey Tomorrow initiative has gathered together the thoughts and ideas of ordinary islanders, young and old, to feed into the review of the Strategic Land Use Plan.

The Strategic Land Use Plan is an important statutory document. It sets the high-level agenda for the plans which are used to shape the island that we live in. So it affects all our lives – our homes, our workplaces, the places where we meet and have fun and the places that we cherish and protect.

The first Strategic Land Use Plan (or Strategic and Corporate Plan as it was then known) was produced in 1990. Almost two decades later, the basic principles underpinning the plan remain much the same. Put simply, the idea was to halt the spread of suburbia, keep what was left of the countryside and focus most new buildings in the town areas of St Peter Port and St Sampson. To a large extent, the plans that were put in place – the Urban and Rural Area Plans – have been successful in fulfilling those basic principles. Almost all new building now takes place on sites that have previously had buildings on them (known as brown-field sites) regenerating previously run down parts of town. At the same time, substantial areas of open countryside have been restored through glasshouse clearance.

It is now the right time to reflect on what has been achieved, consider the way the island is changing and think about the challenges and the opportunities that the island will need to face in the next two decades. The island’s capacity to adapt and respond to the pressures for development and change owes as much to what people feel is acceptable as it does to any technical measure of what can be accommodated. Guernsey Tomorrow has asked a broad spectrum of people about what they perceive to be the key challenges and opportunities and how they think the island as a whole should respond.

Guernsey Tomorrow has been a ground breaking approach to involving people in the knotty problems of long-term strategic planning. It moved away from the old-fashioned ‘decide and defend’ style of consultation whereby a weighty document is produced and people are asked to comment on its contents, to a genuinely more open and inclusive ‘engage, debate and decide’ style whereby people have been invited to contribute their own thoughts and opinions and those have been used to help them develop their thinking into a set of ideas. This report explains how this has been done and presents those thoughts, opinions and sets of ideas together with the feedback that has been received.

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SECTION 2: OUR STARTING POINT

We began by gathering together as much relevant information as possible in a document titled ‘Baseline Data and Characteristics of Guernsey’. The baseline study presents a portrait of Guernsey as it is and highlights the trends and changes that are impacting upon its character and identity. It draws upon a wide range of sources (e.g. Business Trends Survey, Annual Visitor Survey, and Survey of Living Standards) and complements the Sustainable Guernsey Reports.

The information is organised under 8 headings, which were chosen to match the themes of the Government Business Plan (n.b. in the intervening period, the 8 themes of the Government Business Plan have been superseded by the States Strategic Plan and the agreed states objectives, which are referred to more fully in Section 7 of this report).

The information collected in the baseline study is comprehensive but not exhaustive. The baseline study is a ‘living’ document. It has formed the basis for on-going information gathering and data assembly.

As the next step in STAGE 1, we used the baseline information to identify some of the key planning issues, problems and opportunities that may need to be addressed.

SECTION 3: IDENTIFYING SOME OF THE CHALLENGES

AND OPPORTUNITIES

A consultation document titled ‘Identification of Key Issues’ was prepared as a basis for debating and discussing the key challenges and opportunities facing the island. The consultation document was posted on www.guernseytomorrow.gg and is in two parts. Part 1 looked at the main business (i.e. financial and business services, retail etc,) and social (i.e. housing, health etc,) driving forces for development and change. Part 2 looked at the island’s principal functional (i.e. energy, communications etc,) and environmental (i.e. climate change, air quality etc,) assets and the extent to which they may influence development and change.

During the first round of consultation, which commenced at the end of 2008, people were invited to suggest other important issues that we may have overlooked, to indicate which issues were of most concern and then to prioritise their selected issues.

SECTION 4: SELECTING AND PRIORITISING THE ISSUES

The first round of consultation involved more than 600 people from a broad cross-section of the public in terms of age, gender and interests. As participants were self nominated either through contact groups and organisations or by walk-in at public sessions, the profile of those taking part cannot be claimed to be a scientifically representative sample. However, every effort was made to gather views from a broad spectrum of people. Participants ranged in age from 90 years to 9 years, with about a third of those taking part being under 19 years.

Men and women with a wide range of commercial, environmental, cultural and social interests took part. A number of people with learning difficulties and with physical and visual impairment were also involved.

In all, 13 workshops were held involving up to 60 people at each event. A public drop-in, held over the course of 3 days at the former Post Office in Smith Street, attracted 140 people.

The participants were asked to jot down their thoughts on the best and worst things about being in Guernsey and the things that most spoil the island.

Lists of the issues, drawn from the ‘Identification of Key Issues’ document (see Section 3), were displayed at each event. The issues were listed under the four headings of ‘Business’, ‘Community and Social’, ‘Environmental’ and ‘Functional’.

Participants were invited to add any issues that they thought were missing from the lists. Individually people used ‘sticky dots’ to mark four issues under each of the four headings that they thought were the most important. You can see an overview of the ‘sticky dots’ results and a list of the issues that the public added in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.

Working in groups of about 6 to 8 people, the participants then used trading cards to prioritise the 16 issues that had attracted the most ‘sticky dots’ from the attendees. You can see the results of this trading cards exercise in Appendix 3.

The overall results from this first round of consultations were used to identify 50 good, bad and ugly aspects of the island and a list of 32 ‘Headline’ issues (see overleaf). These were used in the second round of consultation to help people develop their views and to produce sets of ideas for the future planning of the island.

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SECTION 5: GENERATING SOME OPTIONS

Drawing from the contact groups and organisations involved in the first round of consultation, the results from the first round were used to help about 100 people to generate some options for the future planning of the island. Three workshops were held with between 30 and 50 people attending each one. About one third of those people taking part in the second round of consultation were under 19 years old.

The thoughts that people had jotted down in the first round on the best and worst features of the island and those features that spoil the island were used to select 50 representative images. Participants in the second round of consultation were asked to indicate why each image represented either a ‘good, bad or ugly’ feature and then to say what they would like to see done in the future.

Each person was asked to choose one of the ‘Headline’ issues which they then championed in a round table discussion. Working in four groups, the participants were asked to produce an annotated map depicting their ideas supported by a set of key action points. Each group then reviewed the ideas produced by the other three groups. The maps and key action points from each group together with the peer review comments are reproduced in Appendix 4.

SECTION 6: GETTING SOME FEEDBACK

The results from the second round of consultation were used to gather some feedback from two groups and from the general public.

The B4-8 Business Club and the Guernsey Douzaine Council asked if they could take part in Guernsey Tomorrow. Two meetings were held at which participants were invited to review the sets of ideas produced in the second round of consultation. The participants were split into four groups and each group reviewed three sets of ideas from the second round of consultation. The groups listed the points that they agreed and disagreed with and also suggested ideas of their own. You can see the feedback that was provided at these meetings in Appendix 5.

In order to gather feedback from the general public, a manned display was set up at the Checkers superstore and at the former Post Office in Smith Street. Over three hundred people attended the display. The display presented the views and opinions that people had contributed throughout the whole process and illustrated the sets of ideas that had been proposed. The display was arranged around the three themes of ‘Lifestyles’, ‘Prosperity’ and ‘Places’. The people visiting the display were invited to indicate which points they agreed/disagreed with and to suggest ideas of their own. You can see the feedback that was received from people attending the display in Appendix 6.

SECTION 7: EVALUATING THE OPTIONS –

What’s happening now?

The ‘Guernsey Tomorrow’ initiative has highlighted the things that people perceive to be the most important issues affecting quality of life in the island and how they would like to see those things addressed. Inevitably, those perceptions are slanted towards issues that directly affect people’s personal day to day experiences so, for example, there are concerns about the quality of passenger facilities, but less attention is given to the background issues that have an indirect though crucially important impact on our lives, such as freight operations and fuel imports.

Clearly, it is important that options for the Strategic Land Use Plan take all the relevant factors fully into account. Therefore, the ideas and opinions that were gathered through Guernsey Tomorrow need to be weighed alongside the available technical evidence and the economic, social and environmental objectives and policies set out in the States’ Strategic Plan (the States’ objectives as approved in mid-July 2009 are listed in Appendix 7).

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The revised Strategic Land Use Plan will be one of the Island Resource Plans underpinning the strategic policies and directions of the States’ Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Land Planning Group has considered the ways in which the Strategic Land Use Plan can support the achievement of the States’ economic, social and environmental objectives as follows:

1. by supporting social equity, citizenship and personal responsibility (e.g. decent housing, services and community life)

2. by supporting socio-economic well being (e.g. work, skills & training)

3. by supporting community safety, social inclusion and accessibility (e.g. reducing anti-social behaviour, places for young people and physical access)

4. by fostering a diverse and broad based economy (e.g. suitable business premises, flexible labour market)

5. by encouraging sustainable economic growth and competitiveness (e.g. modernisation, productivity and cost effectiveness, ‘light touch’ regulation, strategic infrastructure)

6. by harnessing the environmental resources contribution to economic development (e.g. open agricultural land, sea fisheries, macro-renewable energy, minerals)

7. by providing equal access to environmental assets and amenities (e.g. clean air and water, public open space)

8. by promoting sustainable development (e.g. recycling previously developed land, countryside and coastal management, resource efficiency)

9. by conserving and enhancing local distinctiveness, built heritage and biological diversity (e.g. archaeology, architecture, natural habitats)

For each of these nine principles, the following table develops a key outcome statement (i.e. what we want to achieve) associated with land use and acknowledging the range of perspectives and values raised by members of the public involved in Guernsey Tomorrow.

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The Strategic Land Planning Group is now looking at how these outcome statements could relate to three different options for the general planning and development of the island. The three options are drawn from the work undertaken by people involved in Guernsey Tomorrow (in particular, refer to Section 5 above and the Maps in Appendix 4). The three options are broadly defined as:

1. Urban concentration. This option would see development concentrated primarily in the urban centres of St Peter Port and St Sampson with some expansion in the outer areas.

2. Community focused. This option would allow development around the main parish or ‘village’ centres as well as the main centres of St Peter Port and St Sampson.

3. Services/Impact based dispersal. This option would enable development to be distributed around the island in any areas that meet certain criteria in terms of mains services and limited impact.

In September 2010, the Strategic Land Planning Group will present a report to the States outlining these options. Following consideration by the States, the Strategic Land Planning Group will work with all States members to develop a preferred strategy in the form of a revised Strategic Land Use Plan. The revised Strategic Land Use Plan will be presented to the States for its approval in early 2011.

The full 84 page summary report is available to download as a PDF file.

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