At Cowes Harbour Commission’s July 2016 Board meeting, Commissioners noted that the proposed Medina Yard development is now a current planning application with a closing date of 12th August for the submission of comments to the Isle of Wight Council.
After discussing the planning application and consulting with the Harbour Advisory Committee, which met on 2nd August to consider the application on behalf of stakeholders, CHC has submitted (on 4th August 2016) its formal comments to the IW Council.
CHC’s comments are published below in full:
The Board of Cowes Harbour Commissioners (CHC) considered the Medina Yard planning application ref TCP/28471/A- P/00496/16 at their meeting on Friday 29th July 2016.
The Commissioners confirmed that CHC’s comments to the planning application should be limited to only CHC’s area of responsibility and any impact on the harbour, its economy and CHC’s marine employment stakeholders. All comments should also align with CHC’s new Strategic Plan and policies for 2016- 2021. Please see attached link to CHC’s new Strategic Plan 2016-2021.
The Board of Cowes Harbour Commissioners also unanimously agreed to responding and submitting an objection to the Medina Yard planning application based on the following 5 principal points:-
1. CHC response to the public consultation on the M.A.A.P. – 17th December 2015.
• CHC provided a full response to the Medina Area Action Plan, including raising concerns and issues regarding policy MVH2 on the Medina Yard application. See attached link to letter:-
2. CHC Strategic Plan 2016 to 2021 – Port & Harbour Development
Promote and deliver sustainable harbour development policies to safeguard existing and support new business, services, investment and employment.
Marine employment sites: Support sustainable retention and development of waterfront marine employment sites.
CHC objects to the Medina Yard application as submitted as it does not align with these two CHC strategic policies for the harbour’s sustainable development.
3. Solent Local Enterprise Partnership report of Sept 2015 –“Maritime Futures”- Solent Waterfront Sites.
This strategic Solent L.E.P. report identifies Medina Yard as one of only two waterfront marine sites on the Isle of Wight of Tier 1 prime importance to cater for the marine and maritime sector, which is currently growing in the Solent and on the Island.
• CHC considers Medina Yard provides one of the best sites available within the Medina Valley for the provision of marine employment land with good all-tide, self-scouring and deep-water access with adjacent deep-water pools of over 5.5metres in depth. The best access and greatest depth of water are situated on the northern part of the site from the Red Ensign moored vessel Sea Trident down to the current lift dock for Medina Yard.
Testament of the suitability of this facility for shipbuilding and repair is provided both historically with the position and location of the Hammerhead Crane to enable the construction and maintenance of large commercial and naval vessels. More recently, it has provided a facility to service and moor deep draught modern race yachts, including the America’s Cup yachts under the Harrison Challenge campaign a number of years ago. Currently, the site provides all-tide and deep-water access for Medina Yard, South Boats and Red Ensign have their commercial training ship Sea Trident moored alongside the wharf. (Please see photographs below.) In addition, Medina Yard and its all-tide deep-water access provides the facility to enable the important hub of small marine businesses and services that support the harbour and its customers.
• CHC notes and is concerned that the planning application proposes to use the northern part of the site that provides the best and deepest water access for the residential and mixed-use part of the development. The outline planning application for the subsequent phases indicates the majority of the marine employment will be provide on the southern section of the site, which has significantly more limited water access and depth relative to the northern part of the site.
CHC objects to the Medina Yard application as submitted as the site is identified in the Solent L.E.P. “Maritime Futures” report as a Tier 1 site of prime importance, and also as a result of CHC’s comments on point 3 above.
4. Lack of robust Isle of Wight Marine employment sustainable needs plan.
The proposed loss of marine employment land with deep-water all-tide access is not supported by an up-to-date and robust marine employment sustainable needs and strategic delivery plan for the Isle of Wight.
5. Requirement to deliver marine employment before residential and mixed use development.
The current Medina Yard planning application is a hybrid and phased development with a detailed planning application for the northern part of the site containing the residential, retail and office space and only an outline planning application for the southern part of the site and later proposed phases that includes the marine employment area.
CHC is concerned that based on this application the developer may deliver the residential and mixed use development based on the detailed planning application and then subsequently fail to deliver the investment into the marine employment site in the later proposed and only outline application.
CHC therefore considers that if the IWC planning authority is going to consider any change of use from the existing marine employment use then it should be conditional on the developer delivering and providing the investment into the marine employment site prior to the delivery of the residential/mixed use development part of any scheme for this site.
Cowes Harbour Commission, as the statutory harbour authority, requests that serious and due consideration is given to the above comments in respect to the determination of the planning application for Medina Yard.
The Commissioners would also like to emphasise and repeat the Commission’s invitation to the Isle of Wight Council and key stakeholders to enter into meaningful dialogue to find and agree both interim and long-term solutions to the provision of suitable marine employment sites to meet the current and future requirements of the harbour and the associated marine services and employment that are vital for the sustainability of the harbour and the local and Island economy.
David Riley – Chairman Cowes Harbour Commission
Capt. Stuart McIntosh – Cowes Harbour Master / Chief Executive
Medina Yard – Northern deepwater access and commercial vessels
Medina Yard – Commercial slipway
Red Ensign’s Sea Trident training vessel
Making comments on this Application
Comments on this Application can be submitted on the IW Council’s website or in writing to the address below quoting the full Planning Application Number: TCP/28471/A, P/00496/16:
Isle of Wight Council
Isle of Wight.
Comments on this Application must be received by the IWC by close of business on 12/08/2016.