The Confederation of Guernsey Industry [CGi] is not impressed with the States’ Trading Supervisory Board’s proposals for the future harbour development and was ‘dismayed’ how little consideration had been given to how the proposed developments will pay for themselves in times of intense economic pressure and scrutiny.
It said the preferred plan to build a new harbour at Longue Hougue South had little economic justification when considering the mitigations and alternatives available to the things it proposes to solve.
‘Our members in the transportation and freight handling sectors have been telling us how great the need to improve the
harbour facilities is, particularly in respect of the working areas, so we are acutely aware of the issue and will support
plans to make the harbours fit for purpose on a sensible economic basis,’ a spokesman said.
‘However, what we see being proposed appears out of kilter with reality and increases the number of harbours, adding more complexity and cost, without identified additional revenue streams to pay for it.’
Looking at the bigger picture, the CGi speculated whether there was a need for a development corporation that would be responsible for a development area to integrate developments from Leale’s Yard, through St Sampson’s and the eastern seaboard to St Peter Port that would have the relevant parties as stakeholders to represent interests.
‘Such a body could encompass consideration of the ambitious proposals that have been suggested involving barrages, power generation, housing and leisure schemes achieved through linking St Peter Port harbour to Longue Hougue, which have presently been ignored,’ the spokesman said.
CGi wants to see more effort devoted to diversifying the economy and modern technology, along with the development of renewable energy sources.
Guernsey could then explore connections with near neighbours, tapping into the previously untapped employment sources on the nearby coast of continental Europe.
The debate on the future harbour development is expected to begin today.