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Housing strategy concerns discussed at Alderney's People's Meeting

Houses in Alderney Photo:

Concerns about Alderney’s new Housing Strategy came to the fore again in last night’s People’s Meeting.

The strategy, which was formulated by consultants Arup, predicts that 100 new homes will be required in Alderney over the next four years and 400 in the next 20 years.

Alderney’s new Land Use Plan, which zones areas for building and for conservation, is being reviewed next year with the strategy as a guiding principle.

Residents have expressed fears that the Island’s green belt would end up being encroached upon.

What happens in 20 years when there’s no more land to build on and all the builders are out of work. Everyone will be saying, ‘open up the Green Belt.'

– Carol Neill

Matt Birmingham, who chairs the Building and Development Control Committee and who convened the December People’s Meeting, said her fears were unfounded.

He explained that the purpose of the Housing Strategy report was to look at where the Island would be in 20 years time.

It is founded upon the hope that the economy will improve and that depopulation will reverse, and a sustainable population of 3,000 people will be achieved.

‘The Housing Strategy examines what would happen if you could get to that point where you have 3,000 residents - a population which would sustain Alderney.

‘It suggests that the requirements would be to have 400 new dwellings in total. But that could be conversions of existing properties into flats.

‘The Housing Strategy puts in place a hierarchy of places that can be built on and it actually serves to strengthen the Designated Area (Green Belt).’

– Matt Birmingham

Mrs Neill said she did not expect to be alive in 20 years time but said she would make a note of Mr Birmingham’s comments for her grandchildren to read.