Alderney marina 'could be running by end of 2015'

A DEVELOPMENT team last night fleshed out plans for a £20m. marina development in Alderney at a special public meeting.

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Braye Harbour Developments Ltd was awarded preferred bidder status by the States last year after a tendering process.

Company chairman Gordon Owen, a former Cable & Wireless chief executive, Robin Walters, who founded Walcon Marine, and marina architect Derek Elliott, of Kay Elliott, told around 40 residents attending the Island Hall meeting that they hoped to complete construction of the facility by the end of 2015.

They plan to build the marina in the rocky south-east corner of the bay at Toulouse Rock.

The 250-berth marina would be open to visiting sailors 24 hours a day. It would consist of two curving breakwaters and a central jetty.

Comments for: "Alderney marina 'could be running by end of 2015'"

A.J.

It doesn't look big enough to cope with the anticipated increase in visiting yachts,which this is bound to attract.

Back to the drawing board and get it right first time.

SF

On what basis? This facility is in addition to the existing moorings further west. If you have a rafting pontoon and it looks like this is incorporated innthe plans, further berths can be accommodated at peak times. It seems a great concept if it happens. Having Robin Walters, owner of Walcon marine involved is a very good thing. He is king of kings in the marina world.

PB FALLA

What a waste

Come on guys get real

Wont happen

Is he dressed In Black Or Pink

Ed

A waste of what? With that attitude it certainly won't happen. Alderney needs inward investment; it's desperate for jobs and is already blighted by the can't-dos. School numbers down 50% in 3 years. Average age going through the roof. Dependency ratio similarly.

This appears to be a very small-scale project which thus carries more limited liability to that which you might be envisaging. I can only guess.

TAFF

This account is far more positive than I was told by two separate groups who attended.

The meeting was poorly attended, and poorly handled, particularly regarding answers to questions.

It appears that the finances depend on selling the new and very expensive waterfront properties off-plan. In the current market how likely is that? And with the travel difficulties, how will they get here? Because if they have a boat as well it will stay moored, and they will fly to and fro.

Like so many other local ideas it is a good idea, but many of the practicalities have been overlooked, not just the travel.

Doug White

1. Anything positive here appears to always be given a negative slant so unless one were at the meeting judgement is better reserved. As is the nature of these things, those who object are more likely to attend than those in support.

2. UK property prices, the target market, are rocking along again especially in London and the South East where many boat owners are likely to be based.

3. Fog effects the other islands almost as much as us and the proposed new Dornier aircraft can handle stronger crosswinds that Joey and his mates so these disruptions should be much reduced in future.

If the first thought is always to resasons why not to do something then nothing will be done and this lovely place will whither further.

A B

I feel very uncomfortable regarding this proposed project.I feel that the proposers are more interested in personal gain off the back of Alderney States desperate desire to create a few jobs/gain some revenue.I feel that Alderney States will not be the ones laughing all the way to the bank if this gets the green light!!!

Devil's Advocate

Too true - this smacks of the Longport plan to get the states to reclaim land for them to build on. How many jobs will this create? 1 or 2 maintenance men, and 1 or 2 admin people....if the admin is actually done locally.

Split sides

Not a chance that this will happen, unless of course those in the States somehow get duped into underwriting the project.

Full steam ahead it is then!!

Simon V

What a great idea to promote boat tourism for the Channel Islands. An all state of the tide Marina just like Dilette and I have to say,I wouldn't mind one of those houses with a mooring. I could commute to work from there no problem .

bob

A Marina in Alderney

YES YES YES YES PLEEEEEASE

george

This looks a good proposal. It's in the only sensible place. It's all tide access and it will attract a large number of visiting boats and will be full in the summer. The only way it can make economic sense is to add houses. The economic gain to Alderney will be material and permanent. For goodness sake go for it. Alderney is in crisis . This will help.

Lindsay Mitchell

Sounds like a wonderful idea to me - such a marine developement shoudl bring more visitors to the island, which will have a knock on affect to local businesses.

A B

Further to comments regarding the proposed waterfront housing-who are the target purchasers?For too long Alderney has been promoted as a place for second home owners-that is why we partly have the problems now-people who come over from England for the required number of days for tax purposes.Part time residents do not contribute year round and with @40% of residential properties here holiday homes how much time would this wave of residents stay? The targeted "movers and shakers" will definitely not be here during the winter months-guaranteed!!

Roland Gauvain

Another single picture in the paper development proposal?

As yet few people in Alderney seem to have seen any evidence that the developers named above have:

- made an effort to speak to local groups and organisations who will be essential in supporting any such plan, accept through a single rather blurry public meeting

- have undertaken the necessary mapping and physical process assessments to show how this scheme will work in practice. Have wave action, deposition rates, bottom and sub bottom profiling assessments etc etc been undertaken?

- shown clearly there is the necessary interest (tens of thousands of boat movements each year) to justify the project, accept through the creation of a large housing development in the greenbelt of the only island to have to have a true greenbelt. When they respond that they have to measure the UK market by advertising, can we not respond that every time you advertise yet another poorly researched white elephant in Alderney you help to drive an nail in the coffin of future projects?

- considered the environmental impacts in perhaps the most ecologically rich corner of one of the most biodiverse bays in the channel islands. This area has some of the best wading bird sites and some of the largest eel grass beds in the islands. These will be directly effected.

- shown how the potential stresses that such a development of hi-end properties, will have on an island with a total housing stock of 1300 properties will affect the island.

- shown how they will deal with the infrastructural demands placed on the island by building at a greenbelt site well away from most major existing services. As I understand it at this point many people on the island are are required to notify AEL if you are installing a new electric cooker because of the limited service infrastructure.

- shown how this will impact on a housing market which has an estimated 10% of properties already on sale and moving very slowly, with another 36 residential properties already underway.

- shown how they can justify a 'massive' development in the heart of the island's greenbelt. Sorry to repeat this issue but please consider it in context of Alderney as a semi-self governing island. For example consider the proportionate scale of this proposed development. The develop is in proposing a development of equal significance, or potentially greater, than the 3rd runway at Heathrow. And yet how have they responded to the need to prempt all the above concerns? Manage environmental impact? Respond to all of the above issues? One poorly advertised public meeting with no engagement of key organisations and limited contact with local business!

These developers may have positive answers to all these challenges, however, they have failed to learn that within an island community it is vital to take the community with you.

I may have grave concerns over any marina developments viability in Alderney given the other islands experience and many may not. But whatever your view, can't we at least expect the developer pushing for it to do a decent job of presenting their case?

Alderney resident

I was under the impression that the vast majority of the development is proposed to be built on an area zoned for development. This was also stated at the public meeting.

A B

Spot on Roland-the proposers of the marina project did very little to advertise the meeting regarding their plans and I feel that they have very little interest,if any, in the knock on environmental impact of this scheme,but hey,so what if the environment suffers as long as they make a very tidy personal profit.

I would like to know if it all goes belly up do we as taxpayers get the bill?Who is liable?

Not convinced

Roland, Those are all excellent points. We should be very concerned about the proposed development.

It is in the wrong place, not just from an ecological viewpoint but also because the eastern end of the bay does not benefit from shelter from the north and north-west. It is also remote from the main harbour, making difficulties for the harbour office and customs. There is no existing infrastructure at that side of the bay, so, no doubt, even more development will be needed to provide it.

This is not the first proposal these developers have put forward. Their previous plan was for a marina within the existing harbour. They were chosen then, in preference to another bidder, but their business plan was so full of holes it came to nothing. We can only hope that this one goes the same way.

Don't be convinced by Robin Walters' involvement that this group knows what they are doing. Walcon Marine are builders of pontoons, not civil engineers.

A marina COULD be good for Alderney but this is the wrong scheme, in the wrong place, headed by the wrong people.

billy

Roland, I don't always agree with everything you do or say but in this instance you are bang on! Excellent post!

Watcher

You really could not make this up ! Alderney is crying out for people, jobs and money yet when wealthy entrepreneurs turn up with a multi million pound concept that appears, at least on the surface, to have been researched properly we get everyone jumping up and down and crying foul! There wont be sufficient water/electricty/whatever/, too many houses on the market already etc etc. The best way to sell anything is to establish a market for it, empty houses cry out for more people and marinas bring in people, wealthy people at that. Do you think these men have developed a business plan without considering all of these issues (and many more) ? If these wealthy people have an idea that will make money for them as well as introduce a vibrant new string to Alderney's bow why stand in their way?

You should be grabbing them quickly before they get tired and go elsewhere. Yes, I know this is the second try they have had at developing a marina but come on, do you think people waste time and money on something this big if they have no intention of completing it?

Let them get on with it, the vast majority if not all of the risk is on them, Alderney can only gain in the end.

Martino

Well said Watcher. This rapidly depopulating island is fast becoming an irrelevant backwater - irrelevant except that it is propped up by the wider Guernsey economy, which is why the intransigence and complacency of the local yokels should be of concern to us all in the wider Bailiwick.

Jim

Watcher,

Points well made. It seems some want to shoot down an idea on the basis that it may disturb eel grass beds etc. etc. but they are happy to have e-gambling, an ethically suspect business if ever there was one. You either have progress or stagnation and de-population, simple as that. At least this type of development will promote a more secure industry and tangible jobs for builders, stonemasons, electricians etc. and indirect benefits to shops, fishermen etc. as opposed to the odd cyberspace admin clerks for e-gambling or such like. Having said, that it could provide housing for that industry maybe..

Of course there need to be some safeguards/policies so the properties are not all unoccupied in the winter. There are solutions if the will is there.

Devil's Advocate

"Bring in wealthy people"...what, like the St.Sampsons marina has done?

As Roland has said, little proper feasability study has been done. What will happen if it goes belly up? Who will pay for returning the bay to its natural state? Where will all the residents of the new houses park their cars (no parking is shown on the plans)? What will happen with the sewage? Will there be a fuelling station? Can the electricity infrastructure cope? The only way this can be acceptable to the people of Alderney is if all those questions can be answered in a positive way, and legally binding covenants applied to ensure they are. What if it goes belly up and the owning company is dissolved, who can the states claim off then? A marina is probably a good thing for Alderney as it offers a choice for visitors, but it has to be done properly!

SF

St Sampsons is a poor comparison example. St Sampson Marina is essentially a boat park by design. The authorities failed to create a holistic vision which combines water use with waterfront regeneration. The two go hand in hand but must be conceived and properly planned but that did not happen in St Sampson's case. Alderrney can learn from this experience. The other big difference is having a private consortium involved.

Jones

St Sampsons Marina is not a good example at all. The authorities , the States of Guernsey did not integrate waterfront regeneration into the development of the marina so it effectively just became a boat park. The Alderney marina project is different altogether as it is led by a private consortium with a plan to develop the water area and the waterfront land ie. taking a holistic approach.

Not convinced

Watcher wrote "Do you think these men have developed a business plan without considering all of these issues (and many more)?"

In a word, yes. There previous scheme, from less than two years ago, didn't stack up, so why should anyone believe this one does?

Come on States Members, stop piddling around with Bitcoin tokens and take a good hard look at this!

Watcher

Not Convinced,

Less than two years ago these entrepreneurs came up with a plan which you say "did not stack up". Yet here they are again with another ambitious plan which apparently (at this time) does not require any Alderney investment, seems to bear all of the risk and must have cost a fair sum of money to develop. I cannot believe they are just flying a kite, unless of course you know otherwise?

A.J.

If the developers are prepared to take 'all the risks and consequences,' then perhaps it is worth considering.After all when completed it could and should, bring jobs and much needed revenue to the Island.

Roland Gauvain

Acting the part of an'intransigent and complacent local yokel (Martino)' can I say that most of us don't have any issue with 'development'. What I, and it would seem many others, have issue with is half baked proposals where the developer does not do there home work, and haven't learnt to take the community with them when working towards their goal. Further they then seem to want to shout about it in the press and when they have to backdown five minutes later, because of something they haven't noticed, such as 3,000 plus miles of atlantic fetch slaming 5 plus metres of swell into a 1km breakwater, complain that the community is at fault.

Personally I have spent hundreds of hours of my time this year working with States members, business people, investors, grant making bodies trying to do my bit for my island, not only through investment and appropriate development but also by generating better community wide communications and spirit. I have little time left to waste on people who shoot themselves in the foot before they even start advertising their proposal.

Martino

Can I ask you a serious question Roland?

Have you tried seriously, in a spirit of 'let's try to make this happen', to put your perceived problems and pitfalls, as outlined in your post number 11, to the people behind this marina project?

If not, why not? It takes two to tango and instead of making snide, sneering, cynical, instantaneously dismissive comments, as one or two of your fellow Alderneyites have done, is it not better to go to the proposers and say 'Hey, amazing idea, which could really boost the island's economy but have you considered a, b, c and d..."

Why don't you do something proactive, make contact with these people and try to find out yourselves whether they are the real deal instead of waiting to them to come to you all the time?

If you are not willing to do even that then Watcher is right. Don't forget to turn the light off when you leave your rock to the birds and the bunnies.

Jim

Here, here Martino

roland gauvain

Martin, I would be more than happy to do exactly that.

At the moment I, on a professional basis, working for the Alderney Wildlife Trust, am working on responses to a States of Alderney planning review, several planning applications, an EIA and REA and several other fairly major planning issues all of which have been running for several months at least. These responses are I hope positive, I understand all to well that Alderney needs to survive. All of this time and effort comes from the Trust using its core time and funds.

I really do agree that there has to be a too and fro on all and any serious applications and frankly we simply don't have the resources to be nearly as proactive as we would like, my failing perhaps but any help from the developer in trying to approach us with the details would be a huge help. One of the points I was trying to make was that when you want to push a large development forward in a small community you need to work with the community, by conversing simply with politicians you end up creating a divide between what the States understands and the community thinks is happening.

Sorry for the quick response written in haste, trying to help set up the islands street market but anyone who takes issues with my opinions voiced in this blog, which are my own and not the Trusts, should feel free to get in touch.

Watcher

Roland

Your efforts have no doubt been appreciated by the population and I hope you are accorded the honour of turning the lights out as you leave Alderney to the gulls and rabbits.

Roland Gauvain

An easy comment to make from an anonymous contributor. Can I politely suggest it is time for those that snipe but don’t contribute to moving things forward should grow up? Just a thought.

Not convinced

Watcher, Their last plan also appeared to "not require any Alderney investment" but when it came down to it, they were indeed "flying a kite" and they required Fort Grosnez and the entire Glacis area handing over to them so they could build houses which "should" bring in enough to fund the completion of the marina.

The news story above leads me to believe that this business plan is little different. The only major difference is the inappropriate positioning of the latest proposed marina.

Watcher

Not Convinced

Sorry, I wasn't aware that the States of Alderney had their own plans for Fort Grosnez and the Glacis. They do have their own plans don't they ? No? So why not come to an arrangement with the developers, allow them to take over the sites they require BUT condition the arrangement so that the States of Alderney gain benefit in the form of either delayed payments following the eventual sales of property or possibly even require a percentage of the properties to be developed for exclusively local purchasers. This is a golden opportunity for Alderney to benefit at no cost to their slowing emptying money pot. Fort Tourgis was a classic example of a wasted opportunity, don't let this one go the same way.

gin palace

Devil's Advocate, isn't that the role of the States of Alderney?

speedbird

Taff your informants were wrong about poor attendance! All the facts were given as requested. This proposal could be the making of Alderney and I hope it is. Otherwise as a correspondent further down the page here says, we might as well switch off the lights as the last person leaves.

As to the ludicrous proposal that there is now a second preferred bidder now being considered (reported in the Alderney Journal last week) those persons are making the island look like a laughing stock. This company that had the presentation on Tuesday must wonder what sort of "yokels" they are dealing with!!!!!

Good luck to them and Im sure that all the houses will sell. There is plenty of money floating around in the system that people want to invest and this is a wonderful opportunity for a lot of boat owners to get in on the start of a new Marina.

Dave Gillingham Snr

Just a few words, Alderney ignore progress at your peril, it has had to many years of selfish retired individuals and do gooders keeping us exactly how they want it,whilst ignoring the real needs of the general public and the working population,and this is why we are now in the grip of severe economic and population decline.

Signed,

One very frustrated Alderney born resident.

Watcher

The problem with living on an island is that the indigenous population often seem to resent newcomers who they see as in some way trying to take away something they cherish. In larger communities it is seen as progress but in the Islands it is viewed with everything from suspicion right out to rank hostility. The smaller the island community the greater the feeling of invasion, I often wonder if this is a remnant from the dark days of the WWII where we suffered the ultimate invasion with all power removed from us.

The Barclay brothers on Brechou have tried to invest heavily in Sark only to be rejected by, in the main, the older members of the community. Sark, whether it accepts it or not, needs somebody to come along and help develop the essential infrastructure and ensure every member of the community can earn a decent living. Those that reject that approach tend to be the more long term inhabitants who, put simply, don't want to see any change at all.

Some Alderney residents appear to be of the same frame of mind, but a little less vocally, when confronted by schemes they see as at attempt to gain some sort of advantage on their island. You simply cannot remain in the 20th century, nice though that would be, you must move forward else your younger inhabitants will just up sticks and leave you to it.

A marina and the prosperity that comes with it could enhance the lives of a small community like Alderney with taxis, restaurants, hairdressers and off-licences all benefitting from the increased footfal - it might, just might, ensure that your air links are provided at a reasonable price. Time to embrace the future Alderney before you are dragged back to the past.

Devil's Advocate

Watcher, you seem to forget that the indigenous population live there because they like the island as it is, the same with Guernsey. Why should they suffer from outsiders trying to change their island for the benefit of the outsiders? There would be more benefit in having the existing housing stock occupied year round instead of being second homes for tax dodgers. Much is being made of depopulation, are levels below what they were before the E-gaming boom?

Martino

Because your economy is going down the pan and if you don't do something about it pdq you will be sunk. Or rather you would be sunk if it were not for the fact that Guernsey is propping you up. You owe it not only to your fellow Alderney islanders to try to make this proposal work. You owe it to the rest of the Bailiwick too. I wouldn't even be posting on this if you were financially independent from us on the bigger island. This is possibly a God sent opportunity to do something to turn things around for all our sakes. Take it for goodness sake or at least don't dismiss it.

Gee

Speedbird

Absolutely. There are a number of issues to address, like the environment, and disruption to tidal flow around the bay, but it's an idea that is right for now. But it is at an embryonic stage, so they need support and goodwill in the first instance.

speedbird

Well Watcher and Dave Gillingham Senior - I think you have summed it up very well!!!! This island has to get into the 21st Century and not keep wanting it to stay in the past. If it is to succeed and keep people here and get more to come work and visitors have to be wanted. I was once in one shop in particular here where an assistant was so anti visitor it was unbelievable. The island has to move on and stop whining on about the old days!!

TAFF

This is descending into farce.

Would Alderney benefit from a marina? Almost certainly, and the real question is, is this the right marina? And the answer to that is that we do not know, because sufficient facts have not been made available to the public. And I checked with those who attended the meeting - only 40 attendees - and they confirm what they said before - poorly organised and questions poorly answered. Sorry, Speedbird.

Given the importance of this development - and it is a new village as well as a Marina -

and the possibility of Marina 2, surely there should be a proper meeting arranged for all the facts to be displayed. Say over 2 days and from 2pm to 8pm. Organised by the States, who should know all the facts.

This is most likely the most important decision to be made for years, so it should be worth making all the facts available, to ensure that the correct decision is made.

And Roland should be praised, not criticised, for asking pertinent questions, which were practical, not negative. The devil is in the detail, as always, and the detail is not freely available. Nor does the public have much confidence in the decision makers.

sergei simples

Gud Moaningz everyone!

There are a lot of factors to be taken into consideration, discussed and decided upon here such as location(which in my opinion is wrong),finance(without the States giving away prestigious high value...but under utilised assets such as The Glacis area, Fort Gronez, and even Fort Albert....and on and on.

BUT,as the facebook pictures advertising late night shopping clearly show, THERE ARE NO CUSTOMERS! THE ISLAND AND ITS ECONOMY IS DEAD ON ITS FEET AND IT IS HIGH TIME FOR THE DITHERING,APPALLING MANAGEMENT,INEPTITUDE and NEGATIVITY TO STOP!!

This is an opportunity for much needed regeneration to happen and good or bad as regards location, finance and assets etc, for god`s sake MAKE A DECISION AND GET ON WITH IT !!!

You have no idea what effect this could have on the island and economy....its a no brainer GET ON WITH IT and if you do not like what the States are doing..vote them out next year!

Simples

Doug White

Generally we see a States where things now seem to be getting done. It appears divided 8:2 on most topics so presumably if there is a will to crack on there shouldn't be too much dithering?

It is Roland's job to object to any development in the island, he does what his membership expect of him and he does it well.

Inactivity isn't really an option. The young are leaving. I can't believe that at 47 I'm still 5 years below the average age in Alderney. That is not positive for any community.

Cameron Fielding

You can include Fort Tourgis as another under utilised asset. For sixty years a significant list of plans have been periodically proposed, but still it stands as nothing more than a slowly decaying monument to the Victorian era.

Sure, a "University of Marine Biology" project has recently been re-visited, but as with the last attempt, it is difficult to see who is philanthropic enough to put up the vast amount of capital required to make it wind and water tight and turn the lights on.

Alderney is increasingly looking like it has arrived at a watershed moment. It simply has to decide which way to go.

On this new marina project, perhaps an island-wide referendum (after detailed and easily accessible publication) would be the way to go.

Not convinced

There seems to be a misconception amongst those who are in favour of this proposal, seemingly at any cost in some cases, that anyone who does not think that this proposed marina is in the right place, or has little faith in the fumbling bunch who are proposing it, or have concerns about our green belt and nature conservancy, has to be anti-progress and anti-marina. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A properly thought out plan, with full public consultation, that respect's the island's green belt would, I believe, be welcomed by the vast majority of islanders, including me.

speedbird

Having been to a lot of Peoples Meetings and other meetings at the Island Hall, I cewrtainly thought that there was a good attendance, probably 40 was an underestimate. As to questions being poorly answered and the project poorly presented several people I spoke to did not have that opinion. The meeting was advertised in the Press and the Journal 2 weeks running it was not just organised at the last moment. As to the questions being poorly answered it was certainly a better scenario than at the Peoples Meeting when we are often told when a question is asked "We'll get back you, or I dont know the answer to that".

The possibility of the second Marina proposal ******! These people that gave the presentation on Tuesday night are professionals at Marinas. From looking at the 3 named members of the syndicate,(Alderney Developments) or may be there are others behind the scheme (and Im pretty sure I know who they might be)a marina might never be built. I can see advantage for at least one of the members of that syndicate!!

TAFF

I think most people would support a marina if that was properly explained. And a marina should benefit Alderney. It is one of the most important short-term decisions that we face.

So why has that not been properly explained? And is it 1 or 2? And what are the costs and benefits? In round figures, over 20 years say. And do we need to build and sell a new village to be able to afford it?

But do it properly by distributing fact sheets for people to consider and then arrange meetings at times that most people can attend so that they can be discussed in detail. And who decides? And based on what criteria? Not forgetting that the States has little public support, mainly because it consistently ignores the public it is supposed to represent.

Tony Webber

It is not surprising that a number of people have reservations as attempts have been made to rip Alderney off a number of times by different business projects.

I am sure that most Alderney people would welcome any new business initiative which was beneficial to the Island community.

If this idea has the right merits, it will succeed; if it doesn't, it won't.

Alderney is suffering greatly as some comments have rightly pointed out.

However, I firmly believe that Guernsey needs to do much more to promote investment and confidence in Alderney. Alderney is after all part of the Guernsey Bailiwick.

There are two fundamental things which can be done to start with:

There has to be a fresh affirmation that current air links will be guaranteed for at least the next ten years. Those links have to be accompanied by lower air fares,( and the same applies to Guernsey- Jersey air fares.

Guernsey could ensure that some "back office" Civil Service positions were based in Alderney and encourage more private sector businesses to do the same.

Alderney cannot survive on its own; it needs to strengthen its partnership with Guernsey to work together, especially on new initiatives to provide work and to improve the local economy.

Alderney is a great place as anyone who has been there will testify.

We must do everything we can to revive an Island with a lovely atmosphere.

dave

Another pie in the Sky for Alderney.What a waste of time,alderney is finished there is nothing worthwhile on the Island.These people are out to line their own pockets.It will never happen.

islandgirl

Well thats a bit defeatist. Line their own pockets well at least there will be a marina!!!

bob

Wait and see i see no marina coming soon alderney is dying slowly and needs more then that to turn it around the aldereney people need to be welcoming a marina and a first and last visit is no good same as sark i pass it by on the way to france and french are not much better