Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has now agreed the final Outer Harbour Project (OHP) design layout with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and their development partners Camper & Nicholsons and Westcourt Real Estate.
Following consultation with Natural England, CHC is now applying to vary the existing dredge consents for the next phases of the OHP, the Eastern Channel dredge and Shrape extension. This dredge application will include the additional harbour dredge areas to improve the safety of navigation along the eastern perimeter of the Inner Fairway and the removal of the shoal off No 1. buoy, as well as the increase to the depth of the mooring basin inside the Cowes Breakwater.
CHC has discussed the final OHP layout – optimisation of the Eastern Channel and improvements to navigation safety – with the Harbour Advisory Committee, including the following:
New Eastern Channel (Small Craft Channel)
• Increased width to 42 metres minimum
• Moved further eastwards away from the Cowes Breakwater
• Alignment amended to straighten channel
• Extension of new Eastern Channel/Small Craft Channel southwards, parallel to the new HCA marina and Inner Fairway to provide a secondary small boat channel
Detailed negotiations are still ongoing with the HCA, their partners, and CHC’s potential contractors, with a view to carrying out phases 2 and 3 of the harbour infrastructure (Shrape extension and Eastern Channel), plus the HCA marina dredge, from mid-January through to mid-May 2017.
However, this is still reliant on CHC concluding the ‘Harbour Infrastructure Funding Agreement’ with the HCA and their developers that will enable the funding stream to flow for the phase 2 and 3 works, and for the HCA to complete on the current conditional agreement with their East Cowes development partners.