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Public feedback wanted for Lymington harbour draft Development Plan seeks

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AN improved slipway, more walk-ashore berths and extra provision for young people are among the ambitions in Lymington Harbour Commission’s (LHC) blueprint for almost £4m of improvements over the next 15 years.

The draft Harbour Development Plan, which is currently the subject of a 12-week public consultation, sets out ambitious ideas to replace and upgrade infrastructure.

The commissioners acknowledged that some mooring fees will be significantly increased to fund the work but pointed out many projects could be eligible for funding from outside organisations.

The deadline for comments on the plans is Sunday 26th June (picture: Paul Stuart Graves, Vertigo Aerial Photography)
The deadline for comments on the plans is Sunday 26th June (picture: Paul Stuart Graves, Vertigo Aerial Photography)

The plan revealed the Fortuna mooring area is nearing the end of its serviceable life, with a £1.4m replacement scheme planned for winter 2026/27.

As part of this work the number of walk-ashore berths, including six for dinghy-size boats, could be increased by 109 to 181.

However, this will lead to a reduction of 111 sub-tidal mid-river moorings.

The draft plan stated: “Although it is not proposed to provide electricity at the outset, the main pontoon walkways will be provided with service ducting so that electric power can easily be installed to facilitate the transition towards zero-emissions boating in the future.”

It was suggested fees for mid-river sub-tidal dredged moorings should be increased by 7.2% each year plus inflation until 2030 to match the cost associated with providing them.

The draft plan stated they were “substantially under-priced” in relation to costs but also considerably lower than the local average for comparable moorings which were between 52% and 136% higher.

Further down the line in 2035 it is proposed £2.2m will be spent upgrading and replacing the Dan Bran Pontoon.

Another project is for access improvements to Bath Road slipway to create separate areas for vehicle and hand launches and to make the boat recovery and launch area easier to use.

Anticipating that the facility will need to be replaced by 2031, the LHC suggested working with other stakeholders such as the two sailing clubs, Lymington Sailability and the RNLI to make a joint application for funding to Sport England for the £220,000-plus project.

Other aspirations include upgrading the commercial fishing quay to feature an £80,000 self-operated electric mini-crane for loading and unloading fish and equipment, with partial funding from the Marine Management Organisation’s Fisheries and Seafood Scheme.

There could also be the creation of extra floating storage at the Dan Bran Pontoon which would enable children and teenagers to enjoy greater access to water activities.

The plan said: “Proposals include improving access for local children, with fully funded training bursaries for children from Priestlands School who, for family or financial reasons, may never get the opportunity to participate in water based activities.”

The deadline for comments is Sunday 26th June. Visit www.lymingtonharbour.co.uk

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