Guernsey’s future harbour requirements will not be decided until the next political term – with formal plans for the new arms-length development agency to be debated by the States imminently.
The drawing up of planning briefs of the land around the St. Peter Port and St. Sampson harbours is said to have started though, despite the lack of political direction on the harbours.
The plan had been for the States to agree what the future harbour requirements are, such as where fuel imports and lift-on, lift-off freight should be delivered, before allowing the Development & Planning Authority to draw up a briefing document on how the areas around the harbour estate could be used.
18-months had been previously agreed as the required time for the DPA to complete that work. A string of public consultations on any development guidance will be needed, as well as final sign-off by the States Assembly.
But deputies have twice declined to decide how future commercial and passenger harbour infrastructure should be organised.
The two major suggestions were to create a new terminal at Longue Hougue South for non-roll-off freight and fuel imports, or to massively extend the St. Peter Port harbour eastwards, as well as constructing a new passenger terminal.
Pictured: Several interrelated political workstreams are ongoing focusing on east coast transformation.
The Guernsey Development Agency should be formally established and have its board members ratified if deputies approve a fresh policy letter from the island’s senior committee this summer.
It will eventually control areas of public land along the east coast and execute development projects along it without governmental approval. It could also enter long-term leases for use of the land on behalf of the States.
Proposals for the transfer of this land still need to be drawn up and agreed by the States, following a successful amendment to the original proposals.
Its main tasks for the next few years are to draw up a funding and business plan. It must also work towards one of the only clear directions given to it by politicians so far– finding a viable option for removing vehicular traffic off the surface level of the road between the South Esplanade and the roundabout.
The States originally agreed to inject £0.5m per year into the Agency, but this has been slashed to £100,000 because of the reduced workload for the coming years.
The Agency will also have no full-time staff members until at least 2025, despite P&R proposing and the Assembly approving the creation of three positions.
These changes were agreed by the Agency’s political oversight group – Deputies Peter Ferbrache, Neil Inder, and Lindsay de Sausmarez – which also selected the board members for the development agency, which will be ratified once brought to the States.
Pictured: Deputy Peter Ferbrache.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, President of P&R, said the Agency’s work would have “the potential to be transformative for Guernsey, in equal terms of economic, environmental and social benefit.
“The east coast remains one of Guernsey’s strongest assets, accommodating its two main centres and socio-economic hubs. Despite this, there has been a lack of investment in the infrastructure that supports the activity along Guernsey’s east coast.
“The establishment of the Guernsey Development Agency provides the opportunity for an arm’s length body to work with community groups, business representative bodies, government stakeholders and infrastructure investors to enable the development of our east coast to secure long-term benefits to our island.”
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