Engineer suggests casino at former Aquarium site

Thursday 20th February 2020

THE former Aquarium site could house car parking, cruise ship berths and a hotel, according to one islander with an engineering background.

In January, the States asked for expressions of interest for the site.

George Clacy has not yet submitted any formal plans.

'The demise of the Aquarium leads to opportunity in the south of St Peter Port, with little disruption to the town and at a small cost,' he said.

'As an engineer with experience in hard rock tunnelling, the Aquarium can easily be expanded to create a car park, cruise berth, and a top class hotel or casino.'

Free transport from the car park to the bus terminus has been suggested, as well as a ski lift from the hotel to cruise jetty, including Brehon Tower within the hotel/casino, or constructing a helicopter pad.

'A hotel or casino would be designed by competitive tender and built with a lease to private equity,' Mr Clacy said.

This would mean the site could be bought by auction and maintained by a private company for a fixed amount of time.

Making use of the resources available is a key aspect of the design.

For parking, 'an access tunnel through the east would be used to deposit the rock excavated from car parking, and used as a core for the start of a granite jetty on the exposed rock,' Mr Clacy said.

Utilising the space available underground to fit public needs has been considered.

'The parking cave could be as large in area and height to accommodate any number of cars and light lorries,' Mr Clacy said.

'Parking cost per vehicle would be less than any conventional multi car-parking structure.'

This is with hope to make more parking spaces in Town without taking up more space.

'The excavated cave will not need surface finishes, the surface would be rough granite - not expensive bitmac,' said Mr Clacy.

Accessibility has been considered, for both cars and pedestrians.

'Two lifts would be accommodated for access to the top of the proposed hotel,' Mr Clacy said.

'It would be advised to construct a large roundabout at the bottom of the Val des Terres.'

Constructing a cruise ship jetty using as much material as possible from excavation is a key focus.

'Debris would be used as a core material for a granite faced jetty based on the existing rock outcrop,' Mr Clacy said.

'This jetty would dog leg towards Castle Cornet, the length depending on size and number of cruise ships.'

A space for ships to dock on the jetty outside of Town is proposed to minimise disruption.

'The protected bay could house floating pontoons or an experimental seaweed farm,' Mr Clacy said.

It is hoped the jetty would be large enough to build upon, with wave screens fixed to protect pedestrians from swell.

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