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Marina and the green belt dilemma

Posted Thu 13th March 2014 at 14:44

ALDERNEY should consider making concessions over land use designation if it is to get a marina fit to turn its economy around, Braye Harbour Developments chairman Gordon Owen said this week.

He spoke after Guernsey law officers insisted that the States of Alderney could not engage with another marina developer while Braye Harbour Developments was its preferred bidder.

Mr Owen said his company was still confident that they could start work on the northern breakwater of their scheme, under Toulouse Rock in Braye Bay, in late summer or early autumn. The unknown factor, he said, was how long it would take to gain planning permission for the properties that will underpin the marina's financing. The situation is augmented by the fact that a handful of those are planned for flanking pockets of designated area. In law, any change to the Land Use Plan requires an enquiry to be carried out by an appointed independent inspector, encompassing a full public consultation. They would also be required to obtain an exemption order to build. Fellow developer Alan Fulford, has also been involved in a marina plan, said he estimated the process could take more than 20 months.

Mr Owen called on government and residents to weigh up the long term benefits of a marina, insisting it would mark a watershed in the Island's economy, with up to £20,000 a day flowing into local businesses. But he added: 'If Alderney wants a marina then they should accept they've got to give in on one or two sacrosanct issues to do it. Changing a small part of the green belt to building land specifically to build a marina doesn't mean the whole island is going to be redeveloped. I have a vision of the land from Fort Albert to the sea becoming a pretty little marina village that didn't exist before. It's away from the commercial area and not messed up with the commercial jetty and the ships. Putting that village there would change Alderney for the better.'

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