Guernsey

Deputies call for delay to runway land sale debate

The field at the western end of Guernsey Airport's runway
Image caption A decision on the fate of the field was delayed until the February States meeting

Two Guernsey deputies have called for a further delay in debating whether or not the sale of land at the western end of the airport runway should be forced.

The compulsory purchase has to be agreed to allow the current plans for work on the runway to be carried out.

The debate was delayed in January to allow a report on an alternative to be completed and published.

Deputies Shane Langlois and Mark Dorey believe the planned work may not comply with current planning policy.

They have placed a motion calling for the debate to be put on hold until the the Public Services Department has reported back to the States on how the project complies with planning policy and specifically the Rural Area Plan.

Deputy Langlois said it would be "only too easy for the debate to be dominated by the options for the RESA [runway end safety area]".

He said while this was important it was "only secondary in the decision to vote for or against the compulsory purchase order".

Deputy Langlois said: "The point of it is to constrain debate to what I believe is the primary concern.

"Should a government forcibly acquire land from individuals for a development, which on the face of it contravenes current planning policies, before either amending those policies to accommodate the development or explaining how, without qualification, existing planning policies permit planning approval for the development to be granted."

The independent report on the merits of an arrester bed system called EMAS was released on 4 February.

It warned any further delay could have severe cost implications for the States.

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