New blueprint for Torbay's waterfront
AN extension to Torquay's Haldon Pier to create cruise ship berths, a new cross-Bay ferry terminal and restaurant, and extra berths both inside and outside the harbour could be included as part of a new blueprint for the Bay's waterfront.
Torquay harbour is already operating at capacity say officers, and it will have to expand if it is to continue to thrive.
The multi-million-pound proposals are suggested in a new draft master plan for Torbay's harbour area which extend from Maidencombe to St Mary's Bay which is out to consultation.
Asked about progress on mayor Gordon Oliver's third harbour proposals, Kevin Mowat, executive head of Tor Bay Harbour Authority, told Torbay Business Forum: "The master plan will show growth because I think it has to.
"If we are serious about growth we have to think differently about how we use the land on our waterfronts. I think we are at a crossroads.
"We are either forever going to be a picture postcard harbour that has little or no ambition to grow and likes the fact we are very pretty and the visitors like us, or we seize the opportunity to use our maritime assets as a platform for growth.
"That may not be palatable to everyone, but we can't have it both ways.
"We will need to be strong in terms of our conviction to allow growth because lots of people won't want to see any growth whatsoever.
"Hopefully, people will understand what we are trying to do and if it's in the Local Plan, hopefully, projects will come through faster."
After the meeting, mayor Oliver said the third harbour proposal had been raised 'to make people think'.
"It has done so," he said. "Now we have the harbour extension proposal which will allow us to put tall ships and cruise ships alongside and extend in the outer harbour marina.
"The ferry harbour could be outside Princess Pier and The Strand near the slipway could be an extended promenade out on stilts.
"The response we have had so far has been excellent. The new ferry starts in the summer. We have many maritime activities and the harbour is up to full capacity."
He said the project would be paid for by the private sector.
Capt Mowat confirmed six cruise ships are due this year with two inquiries for 2014.
The Bay had hosted 44 maritime events last year and 45 are booked this year.
The inner harbour pontoons scheme is due to go to council this month with work starting in the autumn to replace the existing 173 swing moorings in April, 2014.
A business case for Brixham Northern Arm is being drawn up with the Torbay Development Agency but Capt Mowat said there was currently little prospect of finding the £25million to £35million it could cost.
He said: "However, it does remain a priority for the harbour authority and it is much closer to being shovel-ready than many of our other projects."
Space was needed in the Bay for lifting out and repairing boats. He said: "I have had loads of inquiries about using Oxen Cove in Brixham for marine-related industries.
"That is a significant opportunity once the town centre work is done."
The master plan which is for 25 to 30 years is out to consultation, and there will be drop on sessions in the three towns on February 11 at Paignton Harbour, February 12 at Torquay Town Hall and February 14 at Brixham harbour office. The plan will then be circulated next month, with the final version agreed in June to be adopted by the council in July as part of its new local plan.
1 Work at Beacon Cove to include removing the ramp from Beacon Hill, providing stair/lift access, low level units for kayakers, Scouts etc, high level units for beach residential accommodation.
2 external access to Beacon Cove via Living Coasts terrace.
3 raised angling platform at an angle off the corner of Living Coasts
4 enlarged raised platform under Living Coasts for summer dinghy competition and winter boat storage.
5 extra level of parking at Beacon Quay
6 yacht club race starting platform
7 landing facilities
8 extend Haldon Pier by 300m,
9 cruise liner berth for maximum 60,000 tonnes
10 sea bed dredged
11 new Princess Pier platform and additional berthing
12 additional marina berthing
13 new ferry terminal
14 new restaurant facility,
15 bus stop
16 marina facilities, Pavilion hotel, restaurant and residential development
17 inner harbour visitors' pontoon
18 residential pontoon berths
19 inner harbour events space
20 The Strand pedestrian area widened.