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Help design marine centre on Poole Quay
HELP us design a marine centre on Poole Quay – that’s the invitation from Poole Harbour Commissioners.
At the launch of the second version of the draft Port Master Plan at the Thistle Hotel, which overlooks the Poole Quay Boat Haven, proposals which could include the marina’s expansion were set out.
The vision for the £25million development is to have more leisure berths, a visitor attraction, tall ships and superyacht berths, a publicly accessible breakwater, facilities for youth organisations and a water-taxi from a multi-storey car park at the port.
With a further six weeks of public consultation underway, chief executive Jim Stewart said: “We are trying to get feedback from the people of Poole so you can help us influence the design going forward.
“It’s not a planning application – there’s still some way to go.”
The second version of the plan comes after an independent environmental report looked at proposals including deep water quays and deepening of the existing conventional quays.
A new quay proposed for cruise ships at the port has already gathered interest from an operator keen to bring 10 small vessels to Poole in 2014.
“This is a huge increase on what we have been doing recently,” said Mr Stewart.
“We honestly believe if we build that new quay we could get 35 to 40 cruise ships a year.
“There’s a real opportunity for us.”
He said they were in discussions with a number of people about a visitor centre at the quay marina and were looking to create an interactive tourist attraction to regenerate the quay.
Concern was raised by Cllr Brian Clements that an extended marina could detract from the quay while not generating much income for other users and asked for figures of how much income was generated.
He was told that information on the business proposal would be made available.
“All the businesses in Poole are absolutely behind this,” said PHC chairman Richard Lacey.
“They see increased footfall.”
Chris Randle of Poole Harbour Action Group was concerned the water-taxi would prove unpopular and people going to their boats would congest the quay.
Mr Stewart said they were talking to the Thistle Hotel about a drop-off point.
“I think if we provide free car parking for the marine centre customers on the port they will utilise that rather than car park in the town,” he said.
So what happens next?
* Six weeks of public consultation including a public open session on Monday, October 15 from 3pm to 7.30pm in the North Lounge of the Poole Ferry Passenger Terminal.
* Final version of the plan published by the end of 2012.
* Further environmental reports in spring 2013.
* PHC decides which projects to proceed with.
* More consultation before any application goes to the Marine Management Organisation.