Thank you as a member of the Development Panel of LegCo for taking the time to read this brief, but vital document before you consider the CEDD/PlanD proposal before you.
We acknowledge there is a need for housing (in particular public housing), but also that its delivery needs to be logical, reasonable, economically and sustainably viable, and that decisions need to be evidence based, transparent and democratically inclusive.
The Lamma Ex-Quarry consists of a 20 ha platform, 5 ha lake, 9.5 ha slope area and 1km (part natural) shoreline.
The only government proposal for this recreational and nature resource is for residential and commercial use either with or without a hotel and marina.
The EIA was initiated in June 2011, but has yet to report. The study team’s focus on the quarry area does not take into account the impact on the island, particularly as current environmental controls are so weak that no meaningful protection is provided.
The Public Consultation period (held over the Christmas and New Year holidays) finishes on the 6th February 2013, but has been conducted without the benefit of any environmental, ecological, biodiversity, social, local housing demand, logistical or infrastructural impact reports being made available. Thus there is no evidence or support for any proposal beyond that tenuously provided by the existence of the land itself.
The limited community support (most residents oppose the proposal) is based on the belief that increasing the population will enhance facilities, particularly medical, from a doctor two days a week to a hospital. This will not be achieved; however, a sensible reallocation of existing budget would provide both a 24-hour doctor service and essential evacuation services.
The process, like so many recently conducted by government, is fatally flawed in that:
A single option (residential) has been pre-selected, no other options are available;
No evidence is available to support the project or analysis to validate mitigation of harm;
The CE’s intent to provide public housing will not be assuaged by this proposal;
No reports or analysis have been produced addressing the impact;
No economic viability plans have been examined;
The project is being pushed through without proper or appropriate consideration.
Please take this opportunity to vote for a proper, open and accountable consultation process that examines all the facts and allows for rational, reasoned decisions to be made with appropriate democratic input by the community.
Author: Jo Wilson
Living Lamma (NGO) – 21st January 2013