Alderney politicians will today vote on whether to grant a marina developer a one year period of exclusivity to work with them on the creation of a 400 berth facility at the eastern end of Braye Bay.
Gordon Owen and marina architect Derek Kay of Kay Elliot first approached the States with the scheme a decade ago but the government ultimately decided to work with another party and in the end it did not go ahead.
The outline plans submitted to the States are the same as those originally submitted, building at the rocky south east corner of the bay, but they no longer include asking for a package of greenbelt land where the scramble track lies. They want to use part of the Arsenal – which is privately owned – and lease a triangle of land bordered by the sea and Rue d Beaumont and the road up to Fort Albert. They do not seek any cash from the States for the project – estimated to cost £20-25million but they want to build around six homes on that piece of land and a small number of commercial premises to complement the development.
Two arms of breakwater will be built to protect the marina, one from the land round Toulouse Rock and the other stretching to meet across the rocky shore from a spot adjacent to Rue de Beaumont.
General Services Committee chairman Graham McKinley has met twice with the team and has been impressed with their ideas and commitment.
Gordon Owen founded Walcon Marine which provides yacht, harbour, marina and berthing design and construction services worldwide. Kay Elliot is a well regarded architects firm that has designed eight marinas in the UK, Europe and Asia.
The plan is to build the outer breakwater first, the one across Toulouse Rock and build a small marina in there so people will be able to use that part before the marina is fully developed . There will be various phases which will lead to development of other parts
The grass land will be used for five or six very special houses which will have their own moorings . It will only go as far as the road. There will be nothing on the other side of Rue de Beaumont.
As far the Arsenal is concerned we are in discussion with the owner about it. Earlier this year we were offered the chance to purchase that but we actually turned that down in January. I’m trying to bring that back again because we certainly want to use part of of the Arsenal. So it’s a very interesting and far better place than the others that people have proposed a marina before for over 40 years.
There will places where people can offload their boats, slipways, and crane will be able to work there. Hopefully there will be sufficient space for 300-400 boats depending on their length. We’ll hope to get a few very happy UK boat owners who station there boats there and hopefully winter their boats here.
One of the chief attractions is that it as things stand it won’t cost the States a penny.
They’re are going to lease States land at a cost We need now to have discussions with them about who would make what from it. We need to make at least 10 per cent a year from their income from it.
We hope we can agree a letter in the next P&F meeting which is basically offering them exclusivity for a period of one year and then we discuss further details. Fingers crossed that will happen.
Andrew Eggleston, President of Alderney’s Chamber of Commerce, said a marina would be a gamechanger for the Alderney economy and the island had waited far too long for one.
The Chamber of Commerce has also met the team behind the proposal and he said they too had been impressed by the development team.
A marina would be a superb economic enabler for the island and that’s what is desperately needed at this time.
There is a huge number of marinas on the South coast of England but and Alderney is the first place yachtsmen hit if they are travelling south. When the weather turns bad however they carry on to the other islands or France, so we miss out on a lot of visitors.
We really hope the States take this aboard and go for it. It’s been around far too long with nothing happening. We hope that this time after so many decades we can get it through.
We would ask P&F to sanction this and give the exclusivity for it. It’s really a letter of intent not going into masses of detail about it . Let’s get the ball rolling. Yes please States let’s do this and let’s forge ahead.