The first key element of the States’ future harbour development has been completed and consultation with key stakeholders is about to commence – but the States’ Trading Supervisory Board expects the final policy letter to be completed six months later than originally requested.
In May 2019, a requête was laid which asked the STSB to produce an analysis of the long-term requirements of Guernsey’s harbours, and produce a Policy Letter with recommendations for development by December 2020.
However, STSB President Peter Roffey said that the pandemic had resulted in a number of delays.
“The main data gathering and stakeholder engagement began in 2019, prior to the covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
“However, the subsequent restrictions on travel to and from island, and the lockdowns here and in the UK, impacted on this initial phase of the project. For instance, the furloughing of staff by some of the ports’ key business partners delayed some critical data that was required to inform the future demand study."
Pictured: The STSB is currently looking into the long-term requirements for Guernsey's harbour, and considering options for moving commercial operations away from St Peter Port Harbour.
“Despite the best endeavours of the Project Team, these delays have meant this work took longer than anticipated. However, the Future Harbour Requirement Study was finally completed last month.”
Deputy Roffey assured the assembly that work had now commenced "at pace" on an assessment of the impacts, practicalities and potential benefits of various Harbour Development Strategies, including the possibility of moving commercial operations away from St Peter Port.
Several Deputies wondered whether the report would take into consideration other States’ initiatives, such as the development of a new inert waste facility and the Energy Policy that was agreed to in March.
While these are a part of the ongoing States’ project, Deputy Roffey did not want harbour development to stagnate as a result of these concerns.
“There’s a danger that we’ll be absolutely that nothing will happen while we wait for other strategies to come to fruition,” he said.
“Sometimes in politics I think you just have to get on and do something with your best guess of what’s going to happen in other areas of policy.”
Consultation with stakeholders is expected to begin in December. Following the feedback from this, Deputy Roffey suggested that public consultation would be held at a later stage.
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