A ‘ONCE-in-a-generation’ programme of works to transform the harbours in St Helier is to be carried out by Ports of Jersey.
The company says the regeneration will safeguard the long-term viability of the Harbour, serving both passengers and freight, improve the customer experience, and realise the area’s potential as a leisure, cultural and tourism destination.
The masterplan will cover Elizabeth Harbour, New North Quay, Albert Pier, Victoria Pier and the Old Harbour.
Ports intend to submit a planning application for the initial stage of the project, which involves redeveloping the Elizabeth Harbour to improve freight-handling capacity and replace the dated terminal building, before the end of this year.
Work on the first phase could start in 2023 and is anticipated to last around three years.
It is also estimated that the plans for the scheme in its entirety – looking at further development on the New North Quay and regeneration of the Old, English and French harbours – will take between seven and ten years to come to fruition.
Ports of Jersey will fund the project, although the organisation’s chief executive, Matt Thomas, said it was ‘too early’ to know what the cost might be.
‘The Harbour Master Plan is an opportunity to improve the resilience of our port infrastructure and to regenerate the heart of St Helier. It will enable us to continue to provide essential public services and undertake significant investment without requiring funding from taxpayers.
‘The Master Plan will take many years to be fully realised, so we have time to ensure that the detailed plans that we formulate in the years to come reflect the expectations of Islanders and preserve the distinctive character of the Harbour,’ he added.
The plan proposes to replace the Elizabeth Terminal building, which opened in 1989. This is the building used to board and depart Condor ferries.
It is also proposed that the so-called lift-on lift-off ferry operation (for freight ships where cargo is lifted off using cranes) is moved from the New North Quay to Elizabeth Harbour to join the roll-on roll-off operation.
New North Quay
It is proposed that the existing LoLo crane operation will move from the New North Quay to Elizabeth Harbour to co-locate with the RoRo trailer operation. This will combine all freight handling facilities and free up space at New North Quay for further development.
Options for this project will be developed once work on Elizabeth Harbour has begun.
Old Harbours and La Folie
Ports will look at options for how it can regenerate the Old, English and French harbours.
The disused La Folie Inn will be renovated, in partnership with key stakeholders due to the building’s listed status. It is not clear exactly what it will be used for.
La Collette and Victoria Pier
La Collette is the home of Jersey’s fishing fleet, fish merchants and members of the Blue Economy. It also houses marine leisure customers and marine traders.
Port said: ‘As part of the Harbour Master Plan, we will look at how we can support them to develop and encourage growth in the industry.’
Ports have recently invested in improvements to Albert Pier, including the construction of 24-hour access berthing pontoons and removal of the old terminal. The plan will ‘explore how the area can become the heart of a thriving St Helier Harbour’.
Harbourmaster Bill Sadler said: ‘We all depend on reliable connectivity, whether for our lifeline freight connections or to maintain links with friends and relatives, and our economy is built on transport links. With ageing infrastructure and freight activity exceeding capacity, it is now more important than ever to bring St Helier Harbour into the modern day.
‘This masterplan will secure the viability of our lifeline port by making it more efficient, increasing its capacity to handle freight, and freeing up space to create vibrant community spaces for Islanders and visitors to enjoy.’
The public consultation, which will run for four weeks, includes two surveys enabling Islanders to comment on the proposals for Elizabeth Harbour and also share their views on what the Harbour means to them and their future aspirations for the area. Feedback can be given online at https://harbourmasterplan.je or at three public events:
Monday, 3 October, 2pm-6pm, The Cox Suite, Pomme d’Or Hotel.
Saturday, 8 October, 10am-4pm, St Brelade’s Parish Hall, Wednesday, 12 October, 10am-4pm, The Old Magistrate’s Court, Town Hall, St Helier.