A local artist is using her talents to urge young people to save a field from becoming a quarry.
Olivia Garcia is a 24-year-old digital illustrator who lives close to ‘MY966’, a field that is separated by a green lane from La Gigoulande Quarry, at the top end of St. Peter’s Valley.
The draft Bridging Island Plan – which will become a blueprint for planning decisions between 2022 and 2025 when it is passed in its final form by the States Assembly next year – proposes that the quarry should be allowed to expand into the field, which the quarry owners, Granite Products, bought for £1.65m last year.
This, the Government says, will extend the life of the quarry from its current seven years of “winnable reserves” to more than 30 – providing on-island aggregate for the construction industry.
Pictured: One of Olivia's creations is based on Rue Bechervaise, which will close if the quarry expands in to field MY966.
The Island Plan is currently in its consultation phase, with islanders being encouraged to make submissions to a team of independent inspectors, who will review them before making recommendations to the Government.
Miss Garcia, who is starting a degree in animation at Bournemouth University in September, said: “I’ve always preferred to express myself and my beliefs through art, and I was shocked when my mum told me about the plans to destroy this field.
“I certainly had no idea that there were proposals to expand the quarry, and I think it is important that my age group understand what is going on and get involved.”
Pictured: Olivia has written on the Airport's 1937 building - in her art only - to raise awareness of the Island Plan among young people.
Posting her art on Instagram and Facebook, Miss Garcia has included a link to an email template which lists some of her objections. Her concerns include that the expansion will “decimate agricultural land” and “delete a very popular green lane”.
Her post has also appeared on an 'Action Against Quarry Expansion' Facebook page, which has been set up by her mother, Manuela Milson, which has more than 450 members.
A number of residents and politicians have objected to the plan and have raised questions about what they say appear to be discrepancies in the estimated reserves at the quarry.
Pictured: Olivia's mum, Manuela Milson, has been campaigning against the quarry expansion.
They argue that the proposal to expand should be removed from the interim three-year plan for their suspicions that key reports providing evidence that feeds into it are flawed and inconsistent to be addressed.
Granite Products, however, argue that La Gigoulande Quarry is an important source of local construction materials for homes, schools, hospitals and all other built development in Jersey.
“The quarry has been operating in phases since 1946 and today meets about half the Island’s demand for aggregates, building blocks and concrete,” the company said.
Pictured: Olivia with one of her creations, who appears in her La Gigoulande art.
“Besides producing newly quarried materials, we also recycle construction materials to produce secondary aggregates. Any inert materials that cannot be recycled are used in the planned restoration of older quarry phases.
“With the long term in mind, we acquired extra land 18 months ago so that we had the opportunity to continue to meet Jersey’s needs for many years to come.
“Any proposal would be rightly scrutinised as part of the planning process, which will include consultation with local residents and the public.”
Express discussed the debate over La Gigoulande in a recent podcast:
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