Posts Tagged ‘proposal’

Freshwater Bay Harbour Meeting Video

ISLE of Wight surfers came out in force to give an emphatic ‘no’ to plans to build a harbour at Freshwater Bay.
Around 150 people, many of them surfers, packed into Sandpipers Hotel to discuss the harbour suggestion put forward by former commercial fisherman and lifeboat crewman, Dick Downes, as a means to provide shelter for local boats, protect the bay from coastal erosion and make it easier to launch the lifeboat in rough conditions.
But the opinion from those who attended Sunday’s public meeting, chaired by Isle of Wight Council member George Cameron, was strongly against the idea.
Surfers Against Sewerage (SAS) said building a harbour wall would destroy one of the Island’s best waves.
Matt Harwood, chairman of the Isle of Wight Surf Club, said after the meeting: “There was a unanimous feeling that it wouldn’t go ahead, which is really positive.”


Harbour proposal – A report from the Meeting.

A Harbour at Freshwater Bay? by Oliver Harvey

[Al Reed at Freshwater Bay last winter]

It was standing room only, with 200+ people filling the function room at the public meeting held Sunday 25th September at The Sandpipers Hotel , to discuss a proposal for a harbour at Freshwater Bay.

The meeting called by Mr.Dick Downes, an Atherfield resident and fisherman, was to determine initial feelings towards the proposal. (details of his proposal can be seen below)

The Freshwater town counciller Mr.George Cameron conducted the meeting with Mr.Downes.

The councillor, (who confessed he was in favour of the proposal ) kept the room, which was at times a little rowdy, in-order and tried to hear everyone’s opinion fairly – but not before a show of hands requested by one attendee at the start of the meeting, quickly established the rooms overwhelming objection.

Objections came from Freshwater residents, holiday home owners, fisherman, local businesses & surfers alike.

They included:

The loss of a facility used by a multitude of people for the use of a few
The visual impact to an area of outstanding beauty
A harbour would mean stagnant water and strong smell like seen at Ventnor
The proposed harbour wall height would not be sufficient to offer any protection in big swells – one that would offer protection would have to be 15ft tall.
The complete loss of a surfing wave – touted as one of the best on the south coast of the UK

Those in favour were few and far between, with the only reason given for support was, it would help the launching the Lifeboat boat.

Mr.Downes heard and responded to most points taken in a considered & good natured way and even on some points of objection, he concurred.

If the meeting was obtain opinion from the local residents and to determine, if the proposal should move forward – a vote for this was demanded from the audience.

With approx 95% of the room in opposition –the audience felt another meeting is not needed in the future and the proposal should be forgotten about.

At the end of the meeting Mr.Downes was presented a photograph of Freshwater Bay (taken by local resident & photographer, Paul Blackley) to remind him of its inherent beauty and the fact it is area of natural outstanding beauty.


An End to Surfing at Freshwater Bay?

A Freshwater Bay Harbour?

A few years ago, there was a storm that was not very well forecast, leading to some boats in Freshwater Bay sinking at their moorings.
I thought then that with two natural arms across the entrance of the bay, with the channel deepened for the salvage of the “Carl”, it would be relatively easy to create a small harbour here.
When researching the history of this, I was surprised to learn that about 50 (?) years ago, the Council offered the locals a choice of a breakwater to protect the road, or,….. a harbour! I find it difficult to believe how the choice was made, or even if the story was true, but I have been told that at least one local has a copy of the plan for the proposed harbour?
I think there is a case for a harbour to be built today.
The advantages as I see it would be as follows………………………..
1. Shelter for local boats
2. Would provide protection for the Albion Hotel
3. Make launching the Lifeboat a lot easier in rough conditions
4. Provide a “Harbour of Refuge” for small boats caught out in storms that would make the Needles Channel dangerous
5. The West Wight economy is pretty dire. Building the Harbour (which would be carried out in the winter “off Season” period
6. Also, when built, there would be employment opportunities for small fishing and pleasure boats, a couple of passenger launches doing trips to the Needles, and other marine activities
7. Increased activity in the area, with a busy harbour, would draw more tourists to the area, adding to the income of pubs, hotels, etc…
The only downside I see would be the loss of the Western arm of the current bay toi surfers, who use it occasionally.
Provided the two arms of the harbour wall have a low enough profile, it should not spoil the view.
While I am sure a government and/or EU grant could be found toward the cost, (which will be substantial), I think it would be nice if it was built by the Isle of Wight locals, rather than a big firm that would cream off the profits rather than keep it in local hands.
What we don’t want is a cock up like the Ventnor harbour, which, for its size, and what it cost, to my mind was a complete waste of money!
There will be a meeting held in the Sandpipers Hotel on Sunday 25th at 7pm to see if there is enough interest locally to take this forward.

By (Dick Downes….phone 740712)