USERS of St Helier Harbour have said they will be keeping a close eye on proposals to transform the area – after Ports of Jersey announced a ‘once-in-a-generation’ programme of works.
The St Helier Yacht Club, the Jersey Oyster Company and Aqua-Mar Fisheries are just some of the groups that operate in and around the harbour, which Ports intends to regenerate over the next decade as part of a ‘master plan’.
On Tuesday, the organisation said it would be submitting a planning application for the initial stage of the project – which involves redeveloping the Elizabeth Harbour to improve freight-handling capacity and replacing the ‘dated’ terminal building – before the end of this year.
The works would see the so-called lift-on lift-off facilities (for freight ships where cargo is lifted off using cranes) moved from the New North Quay to Elizabeth Harbour.
Further phases could also look at developing the New North Quay, regenerating the Old, English and French harbours and renovating La Folie Inn, although details about these aspects of the scheme are yet to be confirmed.
St Helier Yacht Club manager Jason Manning said club representatives would be participating in the public consultation for the project, which will run for the next four weeks.
‘We are certainly going to be keeping a close eye on things.
‘There are lots of areas that could be improved,’ he added, noting that a large-scale review of the area was to be welcomed.
Nathalie Porritt, director of Aqua-Mar, said the master plans had ‘been in the background for a very long time’.
‘It makes sense to have the [freight] operations in one area.
‘I hope that they do remember the fishing industry as a whole and take into consideration who we are and what we do – the industry is struggling at the moment so it would be nice if we are considered as part of the long-term plans,’ she added.
Chris Le Masurier, of the Jersey Oyster Company, said: ‘They do need to do something without a doubt – the Island relies on what comes in [through the port] and it is inevitable that the infrastructure has to move with the times.’
He added: ‘As long as everybody who operates around the harbour is catered for – it has to be well thought out and take everyone into account.’
However, he said that the company had ‘already been consulted’ by Ports and that he found the management team to be ‘approachable’ and ‘willing to work’ with those operating in the harbour.