Guernsey Ports have revealed its vision for transforming the blue economy, centred around St. Peter Port Harbour, over the coming years.
The proposals include dredging parts of the harbour bed outside and around the Albert and Victoria Marinas to create a pool marina, accessible around the clock regardless of tides, with walk ashore access and floating boating facilities.
The most substantial part of the proposals would see two new fixed breakwaters within the pool which would form the backbone of new berths for every category of leisure boat, as well as a new commercial servicing area and dedicated refuelling station for 70-metre super yachts.
The breakwaters would provide additional shelter to the rest of the harbour and seafront, opening up the possibility of using the Victoria Marina year-round.
The Fisherman’s Quay would be dismantled and replaced with a smaller improved berth for unloading catch with the help of new mechanical hoists, and new mooring spaces would also be installed around the Careening Hard.
All of this would allow for an additional 200 berths for medium and larger sized vessels, for use by both leisure and commercial boaters.
The new harbour would also look to become accredited as a ‘Clean Marina’.
Initial assessments put the construction costs at up to £90m, but further work is ongoing to refine the costings and to determine how much could be raised from mooring fees and wider economic benefits.
Pictured: The plans also include extending the cruise tender pontoon to accommodate up to four vessels, which Guernsey Ports say would alleviate queues of passengers attempting to leave the island on busy days.
The States directed the States Trading Supervisory Board to come back by December 2022 with a policy letter to on this subject in June 2021. This has now been delayed until March 2023 as the Development & Planning Authority wants a public consultation to be held regarding the project.
The States are yet to decide on the future of commercial harbour provision in Guernsey. Wider £360m proposals include relocating ‘lift on’ and ‘lift off’ freight services to a new harbour at Longue Houge South.
That policy letter is set to return to the States in December.
Stuart Falla MBE, Chair of the Ports Board, yesterday told the media that the pool marina scheme is not dependant on the future direction of the island’s harbours.
The States’ Trading Supervisory Board will invite the public to a drop-in on the pool marina plans at the Harbour Terminal at the end of this week; 12:00 to 19:00 on Friday 4 November and 10:00 to 16:00 on Saturday 5 November.
A public consultation will run for several weeks before the policy letter is drawn up. Only developments which are on the water are being considered at this stage, as any works on land would require a separate consultation pending the publication of the Local Planning Brief for the Town waterfront.
You can view more detailed plans and background to the investigations HERE.
Pictured: This jack-up barge surveyed the seabed within the harbour earlier this year.
Whilst the plans could cost up to £90m, Guernsey Ports are “keen to stress that those are preliminary estimates. Further work is being carried out to refine the costings and evaluate any potential additional income derived from the berthing fees, as well as the wider financial benefits to the island, before making any recommendations”.
Mr Falla claimed that more than half of the £90m investment could be provided through future income generation, whilst the remainder would need to be released by the treasury.
He added that any public investment could be recuperated within 20-years.
Guernsey Ports continued: “Those benefits include a boost to the visitor economy through the improved leisure marine offering, new opportunities for the local marine services sector, and the potential to attract high net worth individuals to relocate here.
“With the additional shelter of a new breakwater it could be used year-round, extending the visitor season, and providing a facility for ‘over-wintering’ vessels which would generate more revenue.
“A new development will also provide the opportunity to improve facilities for both visiting boatowners and local mooring holders. It would create more than 200 additional berths, primarily for medium or larger sized boats, which are currently in very short supply and high demand.
“The existing marinas were constructed when most vessels in Guernsey were less than 8m long, and many owners have since upgraded, or would like to.”
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