Cowes Harbour Commission’s response to the letter from Keith Hayden published in the Isle of Wight County Press on Friday, 7th October 2016:
With reference to Keith Hayden’s letter on the planned new Victoria Marina in East Cowes (CP, 07-10-16), Cowes Harbour Commission would like to provide an accurate update and information for your readers.
The new marina is not a Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) project. It is a Government/Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) led project and part of the Isle of Wight Council’s and Government regeneration plan for East Cowes and the Medina Valley. The marina is to be delivered by the HCA’s development partners, Camper & Nicholsons Marinas and Westcourt Real Estate.
Integral to the East Cowes regeneration project is the completion of the harbour protection programme, the Cowes Outer Harbour Project (OHP) for which CHC has been mandated to deliver the harbour infrastructure elements as the Harbour Authority. The primary objective of the OHP is to provide Cowes with a ‘true sheltered harbour’ that will maximise the harbour’s potential and create a catalyst for investment, to deliver growth in marine services and employment for the benefit of harbour users and other stakeholders.
The first phase of the OHP – the outer breakwater – is complete, and CHC is now responsible for delivering the final phases of harbour infrastructure, an extension to the Shrape breakwater, and the dredging of a new eastern access channel to improve the safety of navigation.
Throughout the long delivery process of the harbour infrastructure programme, CHC has and will continue to keep harbour users and the local community fully informed and updated on all progress and how it will affect the harbour. CHC has been and remains proactive with holding public meetings, working with the Cowes Harbour Advisory Committee (representing key local organisations and stakeholder groups), and sending out regular monthly E-newsletters to ensure discussion, two-way dialogue and stakeholder agreement.
Our recently introduced, forward-looking and positive 5-year Strategic Plan was developed and agreed following stakeholder surveys and widespread consultation, and takes into account the wishes of the Harbour Advisory Committee and other stakeholders; that Plan includes delivery of the rest of the Outer Harbour infrastructure.
I would like to stress that CHC recognises the vital importance of marine employment to Cowes and the Medina Valley, and continues to work to ensure that Cowes maintains its marine employment, retains adequate marine employment sites, and strives for a long-term vision to ensure a sustainable future for the growth of marine-based employment.
As Chairman, I know the Commissioners are committed to transparency, and keeping harbour users and stakeholders fully informed, but also to taking a proactive approach to maintaining a prosperous working harbour, for leisure, commercial shipping, transportation, and local employment.
Cowes Harbour Commission
Isle of Wight County Press, Friday, 7th October 2016. Letter from Keith Hayden of East Cowes.