The ability to build hundreds of affordable homes is under threat because the island's sewer network can't currently cope, a new report from the Environment Minister has revealed.
Deputy Jonathan Renouf has released draft planning guidance, which considers sites specifically allocated for affordable housing by the States Assembly, and is inviting islanders to give feedback.
Deputy Renouf's new document shows that at least five sites spanning several parishes would need additional sewer capacity to accommodate the development of around 300 potential homes, while enhanced pumping stations and improvements to the surface water drainage network would also be needed for around 100 possible units.
The sites requiring additional sewer network capacity are:
Field J1109, Grande Route de St. Jean, St. John (which could provide between 28 and 36 new homes)
Field MN410, Rue des Buttes, St. Martin (which could provide between 26 and 33 new homes)
Fields O594 and O595, Clos de la Fosse au Bois, St. Ouen (which could provide between 35 and 45 new homes)
Fields P558, P559 and P632, Route de Manoir, St. Peter (which could provide between 105 and 133 new homes)
Fields P655 and P656, Route de Beaumont, St. Peter (which could provide between 33 and 42 new homes)
Field T1404, Grande Route de St. Jean, Trinity (which could provide between 18 and 22 new homes)
Express was recently invited to visit the Cavern, which acts as an overflow reservoir to stop sewage flowing into the sea when heavy rain means that the main sewerage system cannot handle the sheer volume of water.
Pictured: Head of liquid waste management Duncan Berry in the main chamber of the Cavern.
Speaking during a tour of the huge underground facility, Head of Liquid Waste Management Duncan Berry confirmed that investment was needed to upgrade the island's drainage infrastructure.
"With the Bridging Island Plan, development over the next four years is going to be all over the Island and the network cannot take that capacity," he explained.
"We are developing a Bridging Liquid Waste Strategy to go alongside the Bridging Island Plan, which is going to request tens of millions in additional funding to try and build mini caverns around the Island that will just take foul sewage to try and take some of those peak flows."
He added: "We would love everyone to be connected to the foul-sewer system but we do have pinch points and it is hard to upgrade the whole system in one go. Unfortunately it does need significant funding to allow the Island to keep growing in population."
A spotlight was shone on the scale of the challenge earlier this year when plans to build 179 affordable homes were put on hold after it emerged that the drains in the area could not handle the extra demand.
The government’s Bridging Liquid Waste Strategy report, published earlier this month, revealed that infrastructure projects to avoid the "potentially catastrophic" failure of the network if it was overloaded were expected to cost more than £34m over the next four years.
Housing Minister David Warr said: "We 100% recognise that millions of pounds will need to be invested in drainage to ensure that we can continue with our build programme. The commitment to resolve that problem is a high priority within government."
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