Throughout their existence, the harbours have undergone various development and maintenance projects without having any overarching strategic direction or plan. As the requirements continue to evolve, it has become increasingly important to have a Ports Master Plan to steer coordinated progression into the future.
The Guernsey Harbours Master Plan was introduced by the Public Services Minister, Paul Luxon on 6th February 2013.
The Ports Master Plan provides a comprehensive understanding of the existing infrastructure, operations and challenges faced by Guernsey's harbours and the Island. It analyses the existing port facilities and capabilities as well as the strains upon them and the challenges Guernsey's harbours faces in terms of future requirements.
The Plan sets out clear but flexible objectives and proposals for developments within its 25 year horizon, based on the forecast information available and the feedback from public consultation, while making preparations for the requirements beyond the initial 25 year scope of the document.
The Ports Master Plan is a vital document to ensure a definitive and guided progression of Guernsey's harbours in the future. It is, however, merely a starting point for a prolonged period of joined-up working and please see it as a live document, rather than perhaps as a document trying to provide all the answers.
The 100-page document sets out the future development priorities for St Peter Port and St Sampson's Harbour over the next 25 years.
Proposed port developments
There are a large number of associated work streams, some large some small, some stand alone, some interdependent. A new deep water facility at Longue Hougue to safeguard the island's fuel supplies; better provisions for commercial fishermen; and providing more space for lifeline freight services at St Peter Port are the key priorities for Guernsey's harbours.
The report - produced following extensive consultation with key stakeholders, port users, and the public - also highlights opportunities for the regeneration of the current harbour areas. These would aim to revitalise the Bridge and reinforce St Peter Port as the gateway to Guernsey.
However, safeguarding existing lifeline operations at the harbours remains the key priority.
The focus of port activities is on reliability and service to the island community. Nearly 300,000 tonnes of cargo arrives or leaves Guernsey every year, without which the island could not continue to function. Keeping this trade moving, safely and efficiently, remains the key priority for Guernsey Harbours.