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FOCUS: Major changes are planned at the harbour in the coming's why

FOCUS: Major changes are planned at the harbour in the coming's why

Monday 13 March 2023

FOCUS: Major changes are planned at the harbour in the coming's why

Monday 13 March 2023

The first stage of a major redevelopment of the Harbour has gone into Planning for approval.

Taxpayer-owned Ports of Jersey is currently drafting a ‘masterplan’ for the whole of St. Helier Harbour which aims to ‘transform’ much of its estate, including the New North Quay, Albert and Victoria Pier, La Collette Marina and the old Harbour, including the long-closed La Folie pub.

Its first concrete step is to redevelop the Elizabeth Harbour, 34 years after the berths and passenger terminal were officially opened by the Queen.

Elizabeth Terminal - 1989 - CREDIT: Jersey Heritage

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II opening the harbour on a visit to Jersey in 1989.

If these plans are approved, it will free up space elsewhere at the Harbour so development can potentially take place there. In essence, Ports are getting their ducks in a row.

Elizabeth Harbour is the start of the sequence because Ports proposes moving ‘Load-on, Load-off' services – so freight which is craned to and from boats as opposed to driven on and off – to there from the New North Quay, thus clearing the latter of commercial activity and opening it up to the possibility of leisure, retail and housing.

Ports adds that the commercial port currently deals with 550,000 tonnes of freight a year and is nearing capacity.

Elizabeth Harbour plans Ports.jpg

Pictured: An artist's impression of the Elizabeth Marina, including the new curved terminal and the suspended freight area.

It is therefore crucial that developing the Elizabeth Harbour comes first.

What is in the plans?

If planning permission is given, work will include:

  • a new passenger terminal building to replace the existing Elizabeth Terminal. The new curved building would be to the northwest of its replacement, have a floor space of around 3,650m2 and be up to 7.6m high.
  • A new concrete berthing structure for LoLo vessels, formed of a reclamation area (upper part) and a suspended deck (a concrete platform on pillars). This will be built to the east of the current two roll-on, roll-off ramps which islanders who have ever caught a Condor ferry will be familiar with.
  • A new distribution centre. The equipment and material currently used for the port operations in the New North Quay warehouses would be moved to the distribution centres in Elizabeth Harbour. The centre will have 2,650 m2 footprint and a maximum height of 15.7m, so it will be taller than the two warehouses currently close to the Elizabeth Harbour.
  • A new inbound customs inspection building, to replace the existing one.
  • A new vehicle security search building, also replacing the existing drive-through shed.
  • Fencing and walkways, used to separate passengers from commercial vehicle activities, and to demarcate the restricted zone.

The new passenger terminal

The curved single-storey building includes a large departures hall, with more that 430 seats, a baggage reclaim hall, 12 check-in desks, a café, a staff canteen, an immigration hall and four Customs’ detention suites.

Elizabeth Terminal artist impression Ports Harbour.jpg

Pictured: The plans involve opening up existing public space around the Elizabeth Marina.

There are landscaped public areas to the north and west, and seven vehicle lanes (five out and two inbound) running to the south of the new building.

The new LoLo berth

The new LoLo berth alongside the existing RoRo berths will involve reclaiming land next to the current ‘spending beach’ which is designed to absorb waves, particularly when the wind and swell is from the south. 

This reclamation area – which will be approximately 11,000 m2 – will form the upper part of the berth. It would be supported by a 135m-long rock revetment on its southern edge and a 90m-long blockwork wall on its western face.

Pavement would be placed on top of the reclamation area, which would tie into the surrounding existing land along the northern boundary.

This reclamation would extend from existing reclamation, with the Elizabeth Harbour being part of the ‘West of Albert’ land extension in the 1980s.

Extending from the newly reclaimed area to the south would be a piled 7,750 m2 suspended deck. This would essentially be a concrete platform sitting on pillars over the water.

Elizabeth Harbour.jpg

Pictured: The proposed work includes building a suspended deck out from the existing eastern RoRo pier and dredging the seabed.

The suspended deck would be built to create the new LoLo berth and make use of the existing eastern RoRo pier structure. 

It would consist of a 600 mm thick reinforced concrete deck supported on a combination of precast beams and steel or concrete columns. 

The construction of the suspended deck would involve approximately 100 piles to be bored and socketed into the underlying bedrock.

The quay furniture for this suspended deck would consist of 24 50-ton ‘mooring bollards’, 27 fenders, ladders and lifebuoys.

All operational equipment, such as cranes and forklifts, currently on New North Quay would be moved to Elizabeth Harbour and installed on the suspended deck.

Two walkways will connect the suspended deck and mooring dolphin: one near the RoRo berth and one near the LoLo berth.


To allow vessels to use the new berth, around 114,500 m3 of material will have to be dredged, say Ports.

It plans to use as much dredged rock as possible as infill for the reclamation area.

It hopes the sediment part will be suitable for mixing with green waste for making soil improver.

Concerning the reclamation fill, one of the reports accompanying Ports’ planning application states: “Should an insufficient volume of material be sourced via the soil wash facility, additional material would need to be supplied from different sources, such as from the port or offshore borrow sites - if suitable - or the import of granular fill from local quarries.

“The dredged material that cannot be used in the reclamation area would be disposed of either at an offshore location - following approval from Food and Environment Protection Act - or treated onshore at the La Collette facility for use in other unrelated projects in Jersey.”

When will it all happen, if approved?

If approved, construction is planned to start later this year and take approximately three years.

Works on and over the sea are anticipated to take 17 months. Piling works for the suspended deck could be undertaken in two phases: 3-6 months for driving the piles near the reclamation area, with the remainder of the suspended deck constructed over 8-12 months.

The land-side works, including reclamation, would take place over around 20 months, between months 16 to 36 of the project. 

Most construction is likely to be daytime only, although dredging is expected to be around the clock over three weeks. Tidal working will be required for parts of the marine works.

How much will cost?

The overall cost of the masterplan is yet to be finalised, but Ports say the project will be entirely self-funded with no direct cost to taxpayers. In 2020, the company secured a £40m ‘flexible loan facility’ from RBS International and Lloyds Bank International to help pay for capital projects at the Harbour and Airport over the next three to five years.

Ports CEO Matt Thomas said: “We need to modernise and replace ageing infrastructure while unlocking the potential of our harbour estate for all its stakeholders creating a vibrant waterfront we can all be proud of.

“We need the flexibility to handle different modes of freight transport and to encourage and incentivise the use of more environmentally friendly vessels. We need to enable the growth of our maritime industries. They need our support now more than ever before. We will work with the sector to play our part in developing a thriving Blue Economy built on foundations that will ensure a sustainable future.

“We will link with the Government’s regeneration plans bringing St. Helier and the Harbour together investing significantly in our public realm, providing opportunities for the development of cultural destinations and complementing key projects such as Jersey Development Company’s exciting Waterfront development.

“And we want to deliver all these plans while being entirely self- financing and without creating a burden on taxpayers.”


Plans go in for major harbour redevelopment

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