‘Marina in the Pool should be a priority’
REDEVELOPING the Pool in St Peter Port Harbour as a marina to generate a new revenue scheme could become a priority if an amendment succeeds.
Neil Inder, seconded by Deputy Simon Vermeulen, has laid an amendment to the proposed future harbour development plans, calling for enhancements to the Pool to be fast-tracked.
Deputy Inder said the States’ Trading Supervisory Board, which is leading the policy letter, had given some general consideration to a Pool marina, but there was no direction or indication from the committee that the topic would come back to the States.
Thought to cost between £15m. and £20m. more than the £350m. figure outlined in the policy letter, it was assumed that – with an annual 10% return from charges after the third or fourth year – the money spent would be paid back within 13 to 14 years.
‘I do not think we are in a position to wait for the outcome of the future harbour development debate without considering a revenue scheme like the one that could be generated from enhancing the Pool marina,’ he said.
‘We have an extremely beautiful harbour, but Guernsey’s marina facilities are in a very poor state currently – if we are committed to action, now is not the time to be dilly-dallying and waiting for an extended harbour project without focusing immediately on what’s needed today.’
Prioritising a Pool marina at the end of Crown Pier, is something Guernsey Boat Owners’ Association president Nick Guillemette and David Norman, president of the Marine Traders’ Association, have been calling on for years.
‘The whole of the visitor offering has to be improved,’ Mr Norman said. ‘And prioritising the Pool marina hits the nail on the head of how to start that.’
With decent Wi-Fi, water supplies, electricity and a bit more shelter from the easterly winds, more boat owners would likely visit Guernsey, particularly in the winter.
Mr Guillemette added: ‘By utilising the maximum space in the Pool we estimate provision for 350-400 vessels up to 50m, including visiting boats.
‘If we are intending to do the job properly this will require some dredging while still allowing for passage around the perimeter for inter-island ferries.’
He estimated that the potential revenue from these berths would be in the region of £6m. to £8m. if marketed correctly.
Four amendments have now been laid to the Future Harbour Development report.
Deputies seek to push ‘blue’ economy
ATTEMPTS to accelerate the development of the ‘blue’ maritime economy in Guernsey will be made on the back of the ports debate in the States.
Deputies Sasha Kazantseva-Miller and Sam Haskins are proposing two amendments to the ports debate, concerned that the options presented for ports development could restrict the blue economy, particularly in relation to leisure boating.
One specifically suggests investigating an extension of St Sampson’s harbour to allow for more space for leisure craft.