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Preferred site chosen for new dairy

Preferred site chosen for new dairy

Friday 06 May 2022

Preferred site chosen for new dairy

Friday 06 May 2022


Land adjacent to Brickfield House in St Andrew's - the headquarters of Guernsey Water - is now the preferred site if the States go ahead with construction of a new dairy at an estimated cost of £22-26million.

An area at Pitronnerie Road identified for industrial expansion is the only other site which remains shortlisted for potential use following an extensive assessment of 16 locations in public and private ownership.

The States' Trading Supervisory Board, which runs the dairy, is currently preparing an outline business case for the proposed development having confirmed "a new dairy on a new site as the preferred way forward". This follows in-principle decisions by the previous and current States' Assemblies to back substantial investment in dairy facilities to help secure the future of the industry locally.

Preparatory work on the project has cost around £475,000 so far, including the time of States' staff. But the development has several further hurdles to clear before it has all the approvals necessary to go ahead. Last summer, deputies included it on a list of future capital projects which are necessary but unlikely to be delivered before the end of the States' term in June 2025.

Deputy Peter Roffey

Pictured: Deputy Peter Roffey said that land adjacent to Brickfield House had been selected as the preferred site for a new dairy after more than a dozen sites were carefully evaluated.

The President of the Board, Deputy Peter Roffey, said yesterday: "The further detailed evaluation of options has concluded that a new dairy on a new site remains the optimum solution. 

"Whilst a substantial refurbishment of the existing dairy [at La Brigade in St Andrew's] may be technically feasible, it would not realise the same production efficiency savings as a new build, and estimated capital costs are greater, due to the increased complexity and continuity and safety risks associated with continued production on site throughout the duration of the works."

Deputy Roffey was responding to Rule 14 questions submitted to the Board by Deputy Neil Inder. Express invited Deputy Inder to comment on the Board's answers to his questions, but he did not reply.

Deputy Neil Inder

Pictured: Deputy Neil Inder declined to reply to Express when asked for his views on answers to his Rule 14 written questions about the dairy industry. 

The Board's answers also revealed that the costs of running the existing dairy between June 2020 and the end of next year are expected to include more than £2m on capital items and repairs and maintenance.

"All planned spending is considered essential to meet legal and regulatory requirements," said Deputy Roffey. "The health, safety and welfare of staff and the operational efficacy of the dairy are also critically important.

"All expenditure is reviewed in the context of the [development] project to ensure that any equipment purchased is suitable to be transferred to a new facility or incorporated into a refurbished facility."

Dave_Domaille_Guernsey_Dairy.jpg

Pictured: The costs of maintaining and replacing equipment at the dairy were revealed in replies to Rule 14 written questions released yesterday.

Deputy Inder asked whether the estimated cost of £22-26m for a new dairy was "somewhat out of kilter with private sector developments", such as "two substantial office developments recently - one at Admiral Park...one in St James Street...the former in the order of £30-35m and the latter between £11-13m.".

The Board said that Deputy Inder's figures "serve to illustrate the difficulty of attempting a like for like comparison on different construction projects".

"A dairy is a specialised food processing facility, requiring specialist production and control equipment, capable of maintaining a controlled environment requiring heat treatment, refrigeration, pressurised stainless steel pipework and vessels, residue treatment, and continual conformance with stringent hygiene requirements," said Deputy Roffey.

"While some construction elements might be similar, to compare it with an office development is over-simplistic, and the Board does not consider it a valid comparison.

"The final cost will only be known once the preferred option is chosen...detailed design is completed, and the main tendering for the works has been completed, followed by value engineering.

"Nevertheless, I can confirm that following the further analysis and design work, the current estimated cost of the project has not at this point improved on the £22-26m quoted in the 2020 policy letter."

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