More than 100,000 tonnes of waste is generated each year by local construction and demolition activity, excavations, and roads maintenance.
These materials - typically concrete, tarmac, bricks, stone and ceramics - are termed 'inert waste', because they do not readily react or decompose when exposed to the elements. Some of this material can be reused or recycled in other building projects.
There is now greater emphasis on taking steps to better manage and reduce this waste. 'Site Waste Management Plans' are a requirement for medium and large construction projects. These set out how waste will be minimised, reused or recycled.
However, prioritising waste reduction does not remove the need for a disposal option. The remainder has to be disposed of locally, and this is currently done by land reclamation. The current facility at Longue Hougue is expected to be full around 2022/23, after which a new solution is required.
Work has therefore begun to find an alternative site. The intention is that the cost of any new facility would be met through future charges for disposing of inert waste.
Identifying the best option
More than 50 potential solutions and sites were considered at the early stage of the project. The options ranged from continuing coastal land reclamation or infilling former quarries, to land-raising in low lying areas or facilitating an extension to Guernsey Airport's runway.
These were assessed against various criteria, such as practicality, capacity, value for money, potential for future uses, and environmental factors. This was done in consultation with key stakeholders, including the local construction industry and environmental and conservation groups, to eventually arrive at a shortlist of five options:
- An extension to Longue Hougue
- Les Vardes Quarry
- Former quarries: L'Epine and Paradis, in combination
- Guillotin quarry
- An extension north of Mont Cuet
The interactive map below shows these shortlisted and discounted sites with justifications for these decisions.
In 2017 the States' Trading Supervisory Board and the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure submitted a joint policy letter proposing that an extension to the current land reclamation site at Longue Hougue was the best practical environmental option. Permission was granted to proceed with further design and analysis, beginning with a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).
An Environmental Impact Assessment of Longue Hougue South
The EIA for Longue Hougue South began in 2018. It looked at all the possible impacts that may arise from the construction and operation of a new site, including potential effects biodiversity, coastal processes, hydrogeology, landscape and air quality. This included consultation with technical subject experts and local experts.
The EIA was published in November 2019. A non-technical summary is included in the download section at the top right of this page. The full 'Environmental Statement" can be found here.
The States is now being asked to give approval to progress the planning stage for an extension to Longue Hougue. The proposals have been published in a policy letter, entitled "Planning for a New Facility for Managing Residual Inert Waste", which is included in the download section at the top right of this page. This is expected to be debated by the States in April 2020.
Any development would be subject to a future Planning Inquiry and an Outline Business Case before final approval by the States. It is expected any future site would be ready by 2024.