Negotiations continue towards finalising the ‘Harbour Infrastructure Funding Agreement’ (HIFA) between Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC), the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), and the developer of the HCA’s Victoria Quay marina in East Cowes, which will enable delivery of Phases 2 and 3 of the Outer Harbour Project, the Eastern Channel dredge and Shrape extension.
Despite the best efforts of all parties, and with CHC having met all its commitments to the HCA and being ready and in a position to deliver Phases 2 and 3 of the harbour infrastructure in spring 2017, the HIFA is not yet in a form whereby it can be approved by the respective parties’ Boards.
Furthermore, some of the complex matrix of commercial and legal agreements for the wider East Cowes regeneration development, which must be completed by the HCA and their developers as pre-conditions to the HIFA, whilst being well advanced, are not yet fully resolved.
The effect of this is that it will not be possible to start the Eastern Channel dredging works in time to complete them by the environmental and operational closed season commencing in April 2017. The intention now is to re-schedule the Eastern Channel dredging and construction of the Shrape extension to commence after the 2017 summer season, subject to finalisation of the terms and conditions of the HIFA and the HCA and the marina developers being in all other respects ready to proceed with the new marina and East Cowes project.
As previously reported, a number of the main harbour moorings (11 yachts) will need to be re-located when the harbour infrastructure and HCA-led marina works commence. These yachts can now remain in place for most or all of the 2017 season and the mooring holders affected will receive a letter from CHC with further information prior to the Christmas break.
CHC remains fully committed to delivering its objectives of a sheltered harbour and improvements to navigational safety, including a dredged Eastern Channel, whilst keeping any disruption to a minimum, and continues to work with all parties concerned to realise completion of the Outer Harbour Project.