Current harbours ‘offer limited facilities’

DEMANDS for the harbour and ports have outgrown what the facilities can handle.

3D representation of the preferred option for the harbour redevelopment. Image supplied by STSB and Guernsey Ports. (29533159)
3D representation of the preferred option for the harbour redevelopment. Image supplied by STSB and Guernsey Ports. (29533159)

The States' Trading Supervisory Board was tasked with looking at future-proofing the harbour for port users, freight hauliers, ferry operators, marine services providers and harbour tenants.

Reviews included everything from the length and number of berths needed to unload and store cargo, to the land-based requirements for incoming and outgoing passengers.

The reviews found that there was a requirement for more space than is currently available at St Peter Port harbour to store and manage incoming and outgoing freight, and for ferry-bound or arriving private vehicles. Also structural repairs are needed, as are improvements to some existing facilities, such as the harbour terminal and the current layout.

Concerns were also raised by the leisure sector that facilities currently provided for local and visiting boatowners are inadequate.

The most urgent requirement for St Sampson’s Harbour was to address the risks associated with the current method of fuel imports. Currently, specialist tankers are required to sit on the seabed while unloading. Non-States member of STSB Stuart Falla said while this was currently acceptable, it really had to be addressed.

One of the studies carried out also found that Guernsey could attract more business from visiting yachts if the facilities for leisure boats was improved.

Marina Projects was commissioned to carry out the review of marine leisure and super yacht opportunities. It identified that Guernsey had a number of natural advantages, including location, good protection from prevailing weather, deep water access and the attractive and historic waterfront which could ‘act as a magnet for marine leisure activity, with appeal to resident boaters, visitors and superyachts.’

However, feedback from the local industry highlighted the fact that the St Peter Port and St Sampson’s marinas are over-subscribed and offer limited facilities which are old and falling short of modern leisure marinas.

Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said new marina space was ideally needed, but would need millions of pounds invested in it to do so.

‘The challenge therefore is to ensure there is sufficient demand to justify that sort of investment, not just in terms of payback for Guernsey Ports. It will also acknowledge the wider impacts for the island’s “Blue Economy”, and the service industries that both support that and benefit from it,’ he said.

One potential option identified in the Future Harbour Requirements Study was a new marina in Havelet Bay, which it estimated could cost up to £95m.

Captain Barker said it was not something Guernsey Ports was actively pursuing at this stage.

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