Harbours’ redevelopment is long overdue, say islanders

BE BRAVE, seize the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but do not ignore parking needs, were all reactions from a public drop-in showcasing the multi-million pound plans to redevelop the island’s harbours.

The States' Trading & Supervisory Board wants to build a new harbour at Longue Hougue which would take the fuel and freight shipments, releasing St Sampson’s to become a marina and leisure port.

A steady stream of people turned up to the public drop-in yesterday, with more than 50 passing through the door in the first hour, and some said they would return when it was less busy.

Pensioner Peter Harris was impressed with what he saw and hoped it would go ahead.

‘The harbour redevelopment is long overdue, and I think they’ve got some really exciting and interesting plans, but we do have to hope that the States can have the bottle to put some money aside for the next 10 years to do it, I think that’s the issue.

'Whether they will actually undertake a large capital project, but it seems to be an ideal opportunity to use local construction to build on the legacy of Covid.'

Retired teacher Margaret Macdonald thought that option 5, which is the preferred option of STSB and would cost an estimated £361m., was the logical choice.

‘I think it’s very exciting and has tremendous potential and I think the exhibition has set out extremely clearly what the plan is and what the various alternatives would be, particularly with regard to future needs.’

For Town trader Matt Cable, one of the issues was parking while the construction was being carried out.

‘It looks lovely and having the multi-stacking parking in North Beach is a really good idea, but where’s everyone going to park while that is being done?

'If we lose all of that parking for a two-year period all the shops in Town are going to suffer.’

Marine biologist Richard Lord agreed that the harbours needed investment to bring them up to 21st Century standards, but cautioned about the impact on the environment.

‘Guernsey does need investment and I’m all for infrastructure investment, but I want to balance that with impact on the environment and not invest in the things that bring the wrong type of businesses to the island.’

There is another drop-in today on the New Jetty from 10am till 4pm, and next week there are further drop-ins planned on the Bridge.

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