Oyster trestles obstruct navigation at Whitstable

Following a complaint by Whistable Yacht Club, a report published on the Marine Management Organisation’s website acknowledges that the presence of oyster trestles causes or is likely to cause obstruction or danger to navigation, whilst concluding that the farm’s operations are now acceptable as a low risk to marine navigation.

In response, the RYA has formally written to the Director of Marine Licensing at the MMO setting out their concerns with the report and arguing that the measures put in place since the investigation started do not negate the need for a marine licence. The RYA considers that these trestles require a full marine licence on the basis that they could cause obstruction or danger to navigation.

Read more on RYA website…

Faversham says Yes to Creek Redevelopment

The people of Faversham have voted by a large majority for the Creek Neighbourhood Plan, which was a condition by Swale Borough Council for the release of £200,000 to restore the swing bridge at the head of the Creek. Opening the bridge will enable regeneration of the Creek Basin, with wharves and dredging, to improve navigability along the Creek, increase tourism and make the area a great place for residents too.

Read more at Kent Online…

Swale Borough Council to meet boat clubs, 15 July

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.

New Marina Planned at Medway Council Offices

Medway Council Marina

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.

Read more…

Marine planning: next phase announced

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.

South East

  • 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.cosgrove@marinemanagement.org.uk

Swale Estuary declared an MCZ

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…

Pump House to become Distillery

pumphousePlanning 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…

Red Sand Fort to become hotel

RedSandFortHotelRetired 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

Queenborough alternative marina plan gains Council support

Queenborough Creek planTim 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.

Proposals

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

Medway Council rejects petition to improve public slipway

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.