POOLE Harbour Commissioners’ proposals to modernise the commercial port have been submitted to the Marine Management Organisation.

The first phase of an £11million improvement project is for a new deep water quay within the commercial port, designed to accommodate a wide range of vessels.

Among those which cannot currently be accepted at the port are small cruise ships and other larger commercial vessels.

Under the proposals the commercial quays would be dredged to 7.5metres from the current 5.5m depth, making them the same as the main channel.

Luxury yacht company Sunseeker has expressed an interest in exporting its vessels from Poole instead of taking them to Southampton.

The commissioners application includes a comprehensive environmental statement report and a successful public consultation was held in April for interested parties to learn more about the plans.

Jim Stewart, chief executive, said: “The phased implementation of our Master Plan proposals is essential in attracting new trades to the port and developing existing ones.

“This application to the MMO relates to the commercial quays only and we’d like to emphasise that these proposals do not include the development of a marine centre or marina in Poole Harbour.”

PHC and MDL, which owns Cobbs Quay at Hamworthy, proposed rival schemes for marina developments on Poole Quay.

Both were rejected by Crown Estates, which owns the seabed.

The submission to the MMO includes a Harbour Revision Order and an application for a marine licence. If consent is given the six-month project could be built next year.