CGi comments on harbour plans

‘The CGi laments the opportunities that appear to be missed with the proposals and is dismayed at how little consideration of how any of the proposed developments will pay for themselves in times of intense economic pressure and scrutiny. The preferred plan, (option 5) a new harbour at Longue Hougue South, has little economic justification if one examines 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 issues and will support plans to make the harbours fit for purpose on a sensible economic basis. 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.

The CGi saw the sense of the previous Paint/Inder proposal for a modest eastward extension of St Peter Port harbour with associated expansion of working areas, that by virtue of its scale could preserve the aesthetics of the harbour and solve the practical problems whilst be able to accommodate larger vessels.

Overall the CGi is mindful of the bigger picture and speculates whether there is a role for a Development Corporation that could 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 including housing, utilities, ports and leisure, but underpinned by an economic rationale that supports Guernsey’s macro-economic and future development needs.

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.

We would like to see increased efforts devoted to diversification of the economy and modern technology along with the development of renewable energy sources. Guernsey could explore connections with our near neighbours and learn to work with each other, tapping into the previously untapped employment sources on the nearby coast of continental Europe.

We would be more than happy to enter into dialogue with the States to explore and provide options and ideas for addressing these issues, as we did regularly during the two Covid lockdowns.’

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