East coast evolution
PICTURE the scene.
A pedestrianised seafront, buzzing with al fresco dining, market stalls, recreation spaces and local shops. Affordable apartments with sea views. A harbour bustling with visiting yachts and cruise ships. A multi-storey car park, bike parks, bus depot and electric charging points.
That is the kind of vision that the Guernsey Development Agency might well be expecting to elicit from islanders with its online survey.
Set up to explore potential developments along Guernsey’s east coast, the agency is open to ideas and views about how to enhance this important stretch of coastline.
It’s a laudable aim. The Bridge in particular is sorely in need of investment, having been neglected for decades. And Town, while creating a pretty picture from the sea, could be much improved if prime seafront land was not taken up with car parks and if shop rents were within reach of small local retailers.
But let’s be realistic – any changes to the east coast will be more of an evolution than a revolution. We can’t demolish what’s already there and start from scratch.
We need to work with what we’ve got. Even the Guernsey Development Agency admits on its website that initial projects are likely to be small in scale.
How such developments will be funded also remains to be seen, with the agency’s intention to be ‘as cost-neutral to the States as possible’.
Whatever it does, and however it does it, it will need to start making some progress, and fast, if it wants to silence the sceptics.
To complete the survey, go to