Demand for rock and sand may soon exceed supply


Photo: PIERRE MOURANT.

The issues related to the supply of building materials were discussed yesterday (WED), the eighth day of the public review of the draft transitional island plan.

The jury was told that around 540,000 tonnes of materials were needed each year for the construction of new houses.

A minimum of ten years of ore is supposed to be held in reserve, but current reserves are below this threshold.

Granite Products wants an extension of its La Gigoulande quarry integrated into the deck plan. The south side extension would cover a field next to Rue Bechervaise, one of Jersey’s greenways.

Guy Titman of Granite Products said the vegetation in the area was “not unique to Jersey” and pledged: “We will be planting and replanting additional trees around the border.”

But St Mary’s MP David Johnson said: “Locals had been led to believe that after the current license expired it would be returned to its natural state.” What is now an agricultural field will be replaced by a large hole. It will hardly be an aesthetic environment in which to live, walk or cycle.

And Peter d’Anger, a resident of Saint-Pierre, agreed, saying: “The locals had high expectations that the quarry would come to an end. The situation is very different from what they had anticipated.

“Guests are unlikely to want to stay at the Greenhills Hotel. The loss of the hotel will be another blow to our tourism industry, as well as the loss of many jobs. ‘

Ian Gray of Seymour Hotel Group, owner of Greenhills, added: “If a building permit is granted, guests will see a surface mine right outside our door.”

He recalled that another hotel, that of Havre des Pas, had closed for lack of visitors while the neighboring district was industrialized and declared: “I do not see how it will be different”.

Mr Gray also questioned the forecast for population growth in Jersey and the need for more building materials.

He said: “Within the island, the number of tax returns has dropped dramatically, indicating that the population has declined.

“I can tell you with certainty that there has been a huge exodus of the number of people working in our industry.

“The people are in a very different place than they have been for the past five years.”

The meeting also heard from Jason Simon, of the Simon Sand and Gravels quarry, who wanted to expand his business. He said: “We had to stop mining because the limit was reached.”

However, Charles Alluto, chief executive of the National Trust for Jersey, opposed an extension. He said other European countries are investing in preserving their sand dune habitats: “We are proposing to destroy ours to provide a mineral that will have to be imported in the future anyway. We are going to have to import sand. , so why the hell would we continue to destroy our habitats? ”

Mr Simon protested: “We are not talking about a landscape of pristine sand dunes. We are talking about an area that has been worked for 50, 60, 70 years.

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