SIGNIFICANT improvements in Bridlington can only be achieved through “confident, far reaching schemes” such as a marina – according to the planning inspector who penned a report into the town’s regeneration plans.
Now the chairman of the Bridlington Harbour Commissioners, George Traves, has said that “new negotiations” will begin to get the project off the ground after the head of Bridlington’s Renaissance team, John Lister, said Bridlington “had never been closer to getting a marina.”
In planning inspector Sian Worden’s report, which removes harbour top development from the first phase of town centre regeneration, the principle of a marina is established.
The report acknowledges “there are those who do not wish it to go ahead, and others who would prefer an in-harbour scheme” but that the principle of a marina in Bridlington is generally supported.
She says the council’s work with English Heritage on the value of heritage assets in the harbour “seem, at this stage, to provide thorough and conscientious analyses” and that the assessment of the likely effects on the listed harbour structures “indicates that they would result in, at worse, less than substantial harm.”
Prior to development, any marina scheme would be the subject of various planning applications during which “great weight must be given to the asset’s conservation” according to the inspector – and any harm would require “clear and convincing justification.”
Ms Worden believes that regeneration could be a possible justification, but that judgement would be made at a detailed application stage.
However Ms Worden did air her concerns that in the current market funding would likely be an issue and that “marinas are notoriously complex projects and uncertainty as to its construction will remain until preparatory arrangements, permissions and works are well advanced.”
Speaking to the Free Press, John Lister said that the council would now begin to look for funding for the marina, and that a hotel, car parking, leisure, retail and residential property first planned for the harbour top could be incorporated in the eventual marina plan.
George Traves said: “We have always supported the concept of the marina, and while we have come up with an in-harbour option, we still agree in principle with a footprint layout which would see a marina developed to the south of the harbour - it would double the harbour’s size.
“Our position has always been that we could not afford to lose operational land at the harbour, the fishing fleet is growing and we need more space not less. Now the harbour top development has been removed from the Burlington Parade plan we can start new negotiations over the marina.
“It depends on the council now and funding.”
Ms Worden’s report on a marina concludes: “There are significant hurdles in front of the marina, but it is by no means clear that they are not capable of being cleared or that its development will be prevented.
“The AAP would not in itself give consent of any kind of marina but would establish principle for its development.”