The States have launched an investigation into multi-million pound plans to redevelop St Peter Port Harbour.
A multi-disciplinary project team has been set up to consider whether the harbour should be extended, or if some existing activities could be relocated to free up space for new harbour facilities in Town.
The States Trading and Supervisory Board was asked to carry out the review in response to a Requête put forward by Deputies Neil Inder and Barry Paint, which was debated in May. It proposed creating a new berth at the end of the White Rock, to the east of the QEII marina, which could handle bigger vessels that the current harbours. The plans would also create space at St Peter Port Harbour for other uses.
The specialist investigation project team is being led by Guernsey Ports Capital Works Manager John Mitchell, and Harbourmaster Captain David Barker. They are being supported by Guernsey Harbour's commercial and technical teams, as well as staff who work across States Trading Assets on finance, procurement and communication.
Pictured: Phase one of the plans to extend the harbour, put forward in the Requête.
"Life today would have been unimaginable when the two harbours were being built in the 1800s," said Captain Barker. "Whole industries have come and gone since then, and the fact they continue to provide lifelines for the island is testament to the foresight of our predecessors and the infrastructure they created for future generations.
"However, there are signifiant challenges, particularly around the competition for space in St Peter Port and the way fuels are imported at St Sampson's. Those need to be addressed so that our harbours today meet the requirements of the 21st century.
"We would hope that in doing so, any new facilities we create will equally stand the test of time, and will also be setting the island well 150 years from now."
The project team's work will be overseen by the Commercial Ports Investigation Board - a newly-formed sub-committee of STSB.
Pictured: The Requête was led by Deputy Neil Inder.
"There is a lot of potential to develop new business for the harbours, to bring additional revenues for the benefit of islanders," added Mr Mitchell. "For example, how can we better cater for large private boats and super yachts? This is a market for which Guernsey already has some attractions, but what we can offer is severely restricted by the existing facilities and layout of the ports. We will be considering this and other opportunities."
Firstly, the project team will look into the environmental impacts an extension could have, with technical assessments of any likely effects on land and offshore and how they could be prevented. Stage one will consider aspects like traffic, marine life, coastal processes, noise and air quality.
The team will also update information on tidal flows and sea depths in the area, with a company appointed to give specialist expertise.
Previous detailed studies of harbour requirements and potential development, which were carried out for other projects, will be used for reference.
Pictured top: St Peter Port Harbour.
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