Monday 28 May 2012
Islanders have an opportunity to have their say on the future development of the harbours this week.
Public Services met last week with commercial port users and other key stakeholders to consider the key requirements and issues with the current harbour arrangements.
Among the topics considered were the need for additional facilities; addressing potential conflicts between commercial operations and other uses; and ensuring adequate provisions for essential freight services.
Feedback from these sessions will now be presented at a drop-in for the public at Beau Sejour on Thursday 31 May, where islanders will be invited to give their views.
More than 98% of the goods imported and exported arrive or leave through either St Peter Port or St Sampson's Harbours. As well as freight operations, both provide marine leisure facilities and other commercial activity.
St Peter Port is also the location for other, mostly marine-related leisure activities, and large areas of Guernsey Harbours-controlled land are also used to provide parking in Town.
Public Services is currently producing a Ports Master Plan, which will set out the development strategy and priorities for the existing harbours and any new facilities that may be required within the next 25 years.
One of the issues it will need to address is fuel importation, which is currently done at St Sampson's Harbour. Previous studies have identified the need for a new deep water berth, to provide facilities that are more fit for purpose.
The Master Plan will look at the optimum use of the areas around the harbours, the potential to develop new leisure or commercial facilities, and how these could be funded.
It will also address overcrowding at St Peter Port, where freight facilities are full to capacity and there are concerns about traffic flow when vessels are discharging.
This could be improved by rearranging existing facilities, or potentially relocating some away from the port. There may also be scope for developing new facilities that make better use of the area, given its seafront location in the heart of St Peter Port.
Last week's meetings with port users and stakeholder workshop were the start of a wide-ranging public consultation to help shape the Ports Master Plan. It also includes this Thursday's drop-in at Beau Sejour, as well as similar sessions and an exhibition later this year.
Public Services Minister, Deputy Paul Luxon, said the programme had started well, and it was important for islanders to be engaged in the development of the Ports Master Plan.
Deputy Luxon said:
"We have had some very constructive discussions already and this is now an opportunity for islanders to find out more about some of the issues being addressed and ideas that are being put forward. We still want to hear from more islanders, so the Master Plan can reflect their views".
The public drop-in at Beau Sejour on Thursday 31 May will run from 4pm to 8pm.