Issued: Wednesday, 25th November 2009
COWES OUTER HARBOUR PROJECT
Delivery and Consents news
The progress of the Cowes Outer Harbour Project (OHP) has taken an important step in the right direction with the news that SEEDA has now moved on to the open market in search of a development and operating partner to help take the OHP plans forward. In tandem, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has also formally confirmed its position in respect to its on-going relationship with SEEDA and the OHP.
As has been previously reported, CHC’s primary objective is the delivery of a new eastern channel and the system of wave protection required to make Cowes a true sheltered harbour i.e. the delivery of an Outer Breakwater, the extension to the Shrape Breakwater and the new Eastern Channel.
In order to help bring these objectives to fruition, CHC has committed to providing a grant funded contribution of up to £2.3 million towards the harbour infrastructure works, subject to various agreements being adhered to by SEEDA relating primarily to legal, contractual and performance obligations. CHC would prefer that the private sector be given the opportunity to bring the scheme forward and CHC does not currently intend to partake in the procurement process. However, in the event that the open market procurement process is not successful, CHC would consider further measures it might take in order to see the project delivered.
Meanwhile, Natural England and the Environment Agency raised the most significant issues as part of the statutory consultation process in respect to the applications for the three consents required for the Outer Harbour Project.
SEEDA and CHC have instructed the project consultants to carry out further reporting to clarify and provide further evidence to validate the statements and position in the Environmental Statement and supporting documents. This work has now been completed and forwarded to the Marine and Fisheries Agency, Natural England and the Environment Agency. Work is also on-going to address other representations raised to the consenting authorities.
A meeting has been scheduled for early December to discuss the outstanding issues with Natural England and the Environment Agency. It is hoped that this meeting will bring to a conclusion their outstanding issues and allow the various consents to be approved early in the New Year.
You can keep up to date with all the latest news from Cowes Harbour Commission, sign up to receive regular newsletters and watch the latest Outer Harbour Project Video here: http://www.cowes.co.uk <http://www.cowes.co.uk>
Notes to Editors
- Cowes is a Trust Port constituted by Act of Parliament in 1897 and has a Board of Commissioners with day-to-day operation delegated to the Harbour Master/Chief Executive to manage the harbour.
- Cowes Harbour Commission is the statutory harbour authority for Cowes Harbour. The Commission also provides services and moorings for harbour users on a competitive and commercial basis.
- In 2001, CHC carried out significant changes as recommended by the Government in its Trust Ports Review. The aim of the new standard is to ensure that Trust Ports perform a valuable role in support of the local, regional and national economy and provide a benchmark for good governance, accountability, and openness.
- The Commission is a self-financing, not for profit organisation that aims to make an operating surplus to reinvest into the continuing development of the harbour and associated services. There are no shareholders or owners and all operating surplus is re-invested back into the harbour for the benefit of the harbour users and stakeholders.
- The Commission operates a robust financial management system to provide transparency and accountability in respect of the Commission’s dual functions as the statutory harbour authority and also a service provider. All income and expenditure is budgeted and accounted in five separate ring fenced cost centres which facilitates accurate reporting.
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