Swale Borough Council’s Scrutiny Committee’s “Task and Finish Group” is reviewing whether the Council is making the most of Swale’s Leisure and Tourism, including our coast and water-based leisure, to encourage more people to visit the borough. Two members of this group, Cllr Ben Stokes and Cllr Mike Baldock, have set up a meeting for representatives of the boating clubs in Swale BC. If your club is on the Swale (or in the SBC area) please try to get a representative to the meeting on Friday 15 July, 10 am, at Swale House.
For further information phone Cllr Ben Stokes 01795 476979.
Medway Council has revealed plans to build a marina behind its offices on Gun Wharf, Chatham. The authority owns the freehold of the land, building and some of the river bed which includes part of Waterfront Park, part of the Riverside Pay and Display Car Park and the building known as Riverside 4. The Crown Estate owns the bed of the river, and Medway Council hopes to enter a joint venture to bring the marina to fruition.
The Marine Management Organisation announces the next phase of English marine plans, along with updates on the South and East Marine Plans. Marine planning events are taking place the week of Monday 11 April. The events are an introduction to marine planning, for you to meet your local marine planner and to find out more about what marine planning involves, and how you can get involved. The MMO will also be demonstrating their Marine Information System and the evidence base where you can view some of the evidence already gathered for your area.
The events are open sessions, including a number of scheduled presentations on marine planning. These will be held hourly, beginning at the start times shown below.
- Whitstable: 11 April, 9am to 12pm, Whitstable Waterfront, CT5 2BP
- London: 13 April, 9am to 12pm, Mary Sumner House, SW1P 3RB
- Colchester: 15 April, 9am to 12pm, Lake View Room University of Essex, CO4 3SQ
For more information regarding marine planning in the South East, please contact Peter Cosgrove, London, Peter.firstname.lastname@example.org
Today the Government has declared the “Swale Estuary” among 23 new Marine Conservation Zones. This designation is intended to protect fragile environments, ecosystems and threatened species though no management measures have been agreed or even proposed so it is impossible for boating organisations to know how they will be affected and to comment in any useful way. The Medway Estuary was previously declared an MCZ in Tranche 1. Read more…
Planning permission has been granted for Russell Distillers to turn Pump House No.5 at Chatham Maritime into a distillery producing a range of spirits: premium vodka, gin and whisky. The Grade II listed Victorian building was used to pump water out of the docks. It will become one of the last of Chatham’s naval dockyard buildings to be brought back to use. Read more…
Retired businessman David Marriot Cooper has outlined his vision for how the fort could be converted into a unique hotel and spa, and provide a new heritage museum.
Red Sand Sea Fort to be luxury hotel
Tim Bell writes: My group are absolutely delighted that Swale Borough Council are taking the Alternative Marina idea seriously. This is a first step, and has been recommended by the Local Development Framework Panel Meeting to put to the council meeting for adoption by the council meeting on 2nd March. A large number of respondents (nearly 70) requested that this alternative plan be ‘adopted’ by the Borough Council instead of the proposed Masterplan Addendum. Respondents supported the alternative plan for a number of reasons, notably that:
- the waterside location is unique and should not be used for housing when alternative brownfields available for this;
- the alternative marina plan is cheaper and more deliverable;
- a marina would add to local amenity and recreation value and provide a focus for the area;
- a marina would generate local employment and will support the economic prosperity of the town and island as a whole;
- it would attract a lot of visitors to the area, especially if the expected level of tidal access could be achieved, and could be a significant boost to the tourism offer of Queenborough and Sheppey generally, as an important focal point. It would diversify Sheppey’s traditional ‘bucket and spade’ holiday offer and cater for a more sophisticated market;
- Queenborough is a better location for a marina than the Sheerness Port proposal. Economic upturn means that deliverability of a marina now possible and should be reinstated in plans;
- a marina would make the housing in the area more viable and enable a higher density to be achieved; and
- increased yacht visits will encourage related industry and jobs.
3.1 As a result of, and in response to, the consultation responses received, it is proposed to strengthen the Masterplan Addendum to highlight that the area to the south of the Creek is to be safeguarded for future Creekside leisure, commercial and open space uses. This can be seen in Appendix I. This leaves open the possibility of the Alternative Marina Creek Plan being implemented once the promoters gain funding for their scheme.
Queenborough and Rushenden – Indicative Revised Land Use Plan Addendum to 2010 Adopted Masterplan
A petition, led by Trevor Peen of Medway Waterports Centre, to repair the last remaining public slipway and access road at Commodore’s Hard, Gillingham, has been rejected by Medway Council. Robin Cooper, the Council’s Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture, stated that the slipway had been recently cleared of mud and was in as good condition as the Harty Ferry slipway on the Isle of Sheppey. Trevor says he will appeal on the grounds that the petition has not been dealt with properly.
Commodore’s Hard is used to access the river by neighbouring sailing clubs, rowers, canoeists, dinghy sailors, sea scouts and other youth organisations.
The 2006 plan for Queenborough regeneration included a marina but this aspect was later dropped in favour of building houses right up to the south edge of the water. See SBC+HCA amended plan here. If you would like to support a revised, more practical plan for a marina in Queenborough Creek (click image to enlarge and download QUEENBOROUGH CREEK MARINA9a), to preserve the unique location for maritime use, please email email@example.com before 15 December.
Peel Ports are holding consultations on Sheppey for their master plan which includes a marina at Sheerness. See http://peelports.com/sheerness-master-plan
Option 1 of the Plan proposes “reclaiming 125 hectares of land directly off the existing shore line of Garrison Point. Some 71 hectares of this reclaimed land will be for operational port use, whilst the remaining 54 hectares will comprise a mixed use development incorporating a marina. A heritage boulevard is also included within this proposal.”
The overall consultation period for the Sheerness Port Master Plan is from 5 November – 17 December 2014. The exhibition will be held as follows:
- Thursday 13 November 2014, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Sheppey Gateway
- Friday 14 November 2014, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Eastchurch Village Hall
- Friday 14 November 2014, 3.30pm – 7.30pm – Sheppey Gateway
- Saturday 15 November, 9.30am – 1.00pm – Sheppey Gateway