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Press Release - Land Use Plan 2017 & Changes to BDCC Law

For immediate release: 14th December 2017

At a policy meeting of the BDCC on the 8th December 2017 the Committee gave initial consideration to the many responses submitted by the public to the consultation paper on the draft amending ordinance to the BDC Law. The Committee also considered the timetable for adoption of the Land Use Plan 2017 that was submitted to public inquiry in September 2017.

The Committee would like to thank the public for taking the time to engage in the consultation. Due to the level of response the Committee has decided to pause and take stock of the public views whilst it assesses a potential way to address public concerns about some aspects of the proposed law changes.

A large number of the public comments related to the proposed law change enabling the Committee to consider planning applications for major projects located in the Designated Area and the relationship with the Policy S7 on Major Projects in the Land Use Plan 2017. The comments have highlighted a public perception that the Committee's proposal somehow seeks to circumvent the Land Use Plan process. The Committee wish to reassure the public this is not the Committee's intention.

Under the Committee's proposals ANY proposed major project, including one put forward in the Designated Area and deemed by Policy and Finance Committee to be of strategic importance to the Island, but which does not comply with the criteria in Policy S7 will NOT be approved. Additionally, any major project which is considered, after independent assessment, to comply with Policy S7 will ALSO need to comply with ALL OTHER relevant policies of the Land Use Plan. If a major project does not comply with the criteria in Policy S7 and/or other relevant policies of the Land Use Plan and the Committee is minded to approve it, it will be deemed a major departure from the Land Use Plan and the States are required to agree to amend the Land Use Plan. This could only be achieved after the proposed amendment has been subject to a public inquiry held by an independent inspector.

The Committee also discussed related issues; consequential amendments to the 2007 Exempt Development Ordinance, required if the States blanket exemption under Section 67 of the BDC Law is removed; the introduction of new planning application fees to ensure the Committee has the resources to meet the significant amount of extra work and associated cost to assess any major project application via independent expert scrutiny; and the possible timetable for the introduction of the new Land Use Plan.

In discussion, the Committee concluded that due to the complex inter relationships between these various parts of legislation and the Land Use Plan 2017, that it was necessary to bring them to the States as a whole, rather than in a piecemeal fashion. In order to do this, the Committee has delayed the publication of the final Land Use Plan until the New Year, to enable time to further consider the comments on the law change relating to major projects and undertake public 2

consultation on the proposed changes to the Fees Ordinance and the 2007 Exempt Development Ordinance.

The Committee will set out its proposed way forward in the New Year. This will confirm how any legislative changes will work together in conjunction with the Land Use Plan 2017, if they are approved. It is anticipated that the very earliest that these matters could be placed on the billet for States approval will be March 2018. The BDCC will publish further details on next steps in the New Year.

 

Matt Birmingham, Chairman BDCC

End