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Harbour could see ‘largest development in 100 years’

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‘UNLOCKING the potential’ of St Peter Port harbour could see the largest development Guernsey has seen in the last 100 years, according to the Economic Development Committee.

Economic Development’s new strategy document states that ‘significant commercial opportunities’ could be created by developing the harbour area, which it says could potentially lead to ‘environmental enhancement and an uplift in the quality of the area’. Above right, Economic Development’s infographic setting out the key areas of its strategy.

In its new strategy document the committee said that ‘significant commercial opportunities’ could be created by such an initiative, which could have the potential to lead to ‘environmental enhancement and an uplift in the quality of the area’.

There could also be land reclamation, the creation of retail, hotel and office-based developments, a range of housing types, harbour-related infrastructure, cultural and leisure developments, car parking and other, wider, ‘public realm developments’.

The committee’s strategy document gives its view of what the island’s economy should look like, and it says the aim is to provide the States and islanders with the opportunity to give feedback on its ideas.

It has set up several groups already to investigate various areas, including a steering group which is overseeing the progress of a programme of work that will plan for the future development of the seafront and the surrounding area ‘with the aims of unlocking substantial economic, social and environmental benefits’.

The group comprises representatives of six States committees and among its goals is to co-ordinate the States’ approach to seafront enhancement and come up with a master plan.

It is intended that it will ‘deliver a clear vision for the redevelopment of the Seafront Enhancement Area which can be considered by the whole community’.

But it has also been charged with seeking ‘quick wins’ that could be either in place or under way by October next year.

Funding would be via an independent vehicle, which Economic Development said would be likely to require both private and public sources of funds and in the light of this the committee is keen to work with the private and third sector.

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Such a development would also tie in with one of the other areas of its strategy report, the importance of the island’s retail sector and the need for new opportunities and to encourage people into a retail-based career.

But it said that the seafront enhancement area could provide opportunities ‘and will ensure that the needs of the retail sector are taken into account in work to unlock the potential of this area’.

In relation to land use, with the States owning or controlling some 8.2m. square metres (about 5,060 vergees) of land, excluding roads, it has a key role to play to make sure there is ‘appropriate investment, growth and employment’, said the committee, and cited the seafront enhancement area as a good example of this.

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