Wednesday 10 June 2015
The Public Services Department is pleased this matter has now been resolved but it is regrettable that has had to be through the Court. The amounts awarded were available to the family in the original relocation offer made in August 2012, and since then considerable efforts were made by the project team to reach a reasonable settlement.
For a project of the size, scope, and nature of the airport redevelopment, there was always potential for disruption to neighbours and to islanders in general. This was recognised throughout the planning stage, and extensive efforts were made then and during construction to minimise, wherever possible, any potential impacts. The Department is therefore pleased the Jurats concluded every similar situation had been "reasonably handled, in an appropriate way, on its merits".
While this was clearly an important infrastructure project for the island, the States of Guernsey has a duty to act fairly and take account of reasonable concerns or complaints from islanders. We also have a duty to the taxpayer to ensure public money is spent appropriately and, as in this case, resist unreasonable claims for compensation or damages.
The Department would like to thank the Airport Management, project manager Gerry Prickett, and the legal advisers from St James Chambers for all their efforts in dealing with this matter over such a long period, and the very professional manner in which they have handled this.
The issue of legal costs remains to be determined by the Court in the near future and the States will be making appropriate representations in light of the Jurats' comments.
The judgement will be available on www.guernseylegalresources.gg in due course