UK: Council Confirms Support for St Mary’s and Penzance Harbours

Cornwall Council has confirmed its continued support for improvements to the harbours at St Mary’s and Penzance in order to safeguard the future of the sea link between the Isles of Scilly and the mainland.

In a joint letter to the Under Secretary of State for Transport Norman Baker MP, Cornwall Council Leader Jim Currie and Bert Biscoe, the portfolio holder for Transportation, Highways and Environment (Delivery) have offered to deliver improvements on behalf of the Department for Transport which will provide more deep water mooring and enhanced protection to the vessel berths.

The proposed improvements to the deepwater channel and better protection for vessels and passengers will increase the flexibility to accommodate the current and future vessels at a greater range of tidal conditions” said Mr Currie. “This aspect is particularly important given that the Steamship Company has stated that it is leaving all options open for the type and number of vessels it might adopt when the time comes to replace the Scillonian III and Gry Maritha.

I believe our revised proposals for the harbours will address the Secretary of State’s requirement for a simpler, more cost effective scheme as they significantly reduce the capital cost and are limited to the works that are necessary to maintain the sea link to the Isles of Scilly. This will be increasingly important given the end of the helicopter service.“

Mr Biscoe added “It is important that these improvements are seen as the first step towards the wider regeneration of Penzance Harbour. Unfortunately, the requirement for a Harbour Revision Order to enable key parts of the scheme means that the proposal developed by the Penzance Town Council cannot be delivered within the timescale for the current EU Convergence Programme.

However, subject to support and additional funding which has been requested from the Minister, the two Councils will be able to build on the considerable progress already made by the Town Council. We look forward to working together to develop proposals capable of being delivered through the next round of EU Convergence funding which begins in 2014.

[mappress]

Press Release, November 8, 2012

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