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Derelict Vineries Under Scrutiny

Deputy Steve Falla says he sees little evidence that 'eyesore' vineries are being cleared or converted.

Deputy Falla asked a question about the future of derelict vineries following a general update by the Planning Authority's president, Victoria Oliver, in the last States meeting.

He did this after Planning announced that it was seeking legal powers to compel the owners of derelict or run down homes and businesses to repair  and refurbish them.

Deputy Falla thinks that old vineries should be included:

"When this new approach was announced I was very surprised it didn't include glasshouses, hence I took the opportunity to ask a question in the States

Everywhere you look, all over the island, there are derelict and dilapidated glasshouses and they're a real eyesore. I think in a sense we've almost stopped noticing them because we've become so familiar with them, but I really feel that this could be dealt with in a better way."

The president of the Planning Authority told Deputy Falla that Policy OC7 is there to deal with derelict glass and that it was attracting some applications from landowners. 

The guidance says sites that can be cleared and re-used - mainly for industrial purposes - generally need to be small and tucked away.

Steve Falla says he's not seeing much evidence:

"I haven't seen any change so I don't believe it is sufficient to deal with the task."

"I've been told that if it's not working then the matter of glasshouses will be reconsidered in the review of the Island Development Plan which is due to take place this term. I will be pushing to ensure that we look again at what can be done to clean up the messy glasshouses that litter the island."

He says given the shortage of affordable homes, then some former vineries, in the right places, could be approved for house building:

"I think, in some cases, we could relax the rules, and possibly even use some of those sites for much needed housing."

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