Guernsey port users support deep-water berth plans

  • 11 February 2013
  • From the section Guernsey
Steve Champion-Smith
Image caption Mr Champion-Smith said the changes would depend on the economy

A call for a deep-water berth to be built off Guernsey has the support of the Commercial Port Users Group.

The Public Services Department's Ports Master Plan prioritises building the berth and improving facilities for freight and commercial fishermen.

Currently some ships carrying freight have to rest on the seabed in the harbours when the tide is out.

President Steve Champion-Smith said: "It's imperative... ships are no longer being built that sit on the bottom."

He said: "In order to get larger, more conventional vessels in we have to have a deep-water berth."

The £90,000 report by consultants Moffat and Nichol was commissioned by the States and involved a public consultation.

Image caption Moving the passenger terminal was among the possible changes discussed in the document

Ideas explored in the document include moving the passenger terminal in St Peter Port, creating more parking on North Beach and a cruise liner berth.

Mr Champion-Smith said: "It would be great to achieve everything on the list and it would be great to go away and achieve that within five years - but it's economy driven."

He said of a cruise liner berth: "If the island finds itself in a cash-rich position and the capital expenditure makes sense in terms of a return and current demand as it either grows or declines... then it could be built."

Mr Champion-Smith said work to improve some of the commercial areas of the harbours had already begun and would result in "a safer working area and environment for everyone".

However, the department behind the plan has not been able to reveal if any clear proposals will be formulated or when the matter will be debated by the States.

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