Following the conclusion of CHC’s consultation with stakeholders on the planned design optimization and changes to the next phases of the Cowes Outer Harbor Project (OHP), the Harbor Advisory Committee has confirmed its support for the completion of the optimized scheme as proposed by CHC.
No definitive and final decision has been made as yet by CHC, although the Commission is progressing applications to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for consent variations to the approved scheme, reviewing costs for the design changes, and continuing to work on the planned new Victoria Marina in East Cowes.
This will then enable CHC to make a definitive decision on the proposed Outer Harbor Project changes and, over the next few months, a decision on the timing for delivery of the next phases.
The planned changes to the next stages of the harbor infrastructure program are designed to mitigate cross-harbor flows, minimize sedimentation, improve navigation, and ensure sheltered dayboat mooring provision.
In brief, it is proposed that the extension to the Shrape Breakwater be moved south by 30 meters and aligned east-west; the width of the Eastern Channel will be increased from 30 to 40 meters and the alignment amended.
There will also be some additional dredging improvements to the harbor to eliminate fairway high spots, dredge the area of recently widened fairway, and increase the depth of the annual day class moorings area to the south of the Cowes Breakwater.
As part of the MMO consents, Marina Projects Ltd has been tasked with commissioning a new eelgrass survey and initial indications are that the eelgrass beds have receded slightly away from the area of the proposed route of the dredged Eastern Channel.
It is hoped that this development will ease the application to widen the Eastern Channel in the area between the Cowes Breakwater and Shrape extension.