Cowes Harbour Commission’s 2017 Annual Public Meeting was held last Thursday (25th May) on a beautifully warm and sunny evening at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes. Even though it was one of the nicest evenings we have enjoyed so far this year, the meeting was well attended by harbour users and stakeholders, including local yacht clubs, the Harbour Advisory Committee, Cowes Town Waterfront Trust, as well as town and Isle of Wight Councillors.
Progress against objectives
Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh delivered a presentation covering the highlights and challenges of running a busy harbour such as Cowes, and reported on the Commission’s progress against the six strategic objectives from CHC’s Strategic Plan 2016-2021.
Safety and security
Capt. McIntosh emphasised that CHC’s overriding objective is to maintain an open and safe harbour for commercial and leisure users. To help ensure the safety of navigation, Harbour Patrols continue to use Body Worn Cameras, and investment is being made into CCTV for the harbour. Harbour users were thanked for their cooperation with regard to safety management.
Outer Harbour Project
The audience was reminded that CHC continues to work on the Commission’s commitment to the government’s Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and the Isle of Wight Council to deliver the harbour infrastructure as part of the potential £50 million investment into the regeneration of East Cowes.
The optimised design, consents and costs for the proposed Eastern Channel dredge and Shrape breakwater extension are completed. The ‘Harbour Infrastructure Funding Agreement’ with the HCA and their development partners VQEL (Camper & Nicholsons and Westcourt Real Estate) is nearly ready to sign. CHC is ready to place the construction contracts for the dredging of the Eastern Channel and Shrape extension, however, the Harbour Master emphasised that this was conditional on the marina developer completing and securing the funding.
The Harbour Master highlighted the fact that CHC recognises the importance of protecting strategic marine employment sites, and stated that the Commission is working closely with the East Cowes waterfront regeneration marine employment partners and the Isle of Wight Council. The aim is to deliver long-term sustainable sites for marine employment in the Medina Valley.
CHC’s objective is to deliver a cost-effective Medina Estuary ‘Sustainable Maintenance Dredging Management Plan’ by the end of this year in partnership with dredging stakeholders. An update was given on work in this area to date; please see our 31st May E-news article on ‘Medina Estuary sedimentation management’.
For those who were unable to make the meeting, a PDF of the presentation is available to view below:
• PDF of CHC Annual Public Meeting presentation May 2017