WITH plans for their proposed quay marina currently stalled, Poole Harbour Commissioners are forging ahead with an £11million investment in the commercial port.

A new deep water quay is top of the list for phased improvements to the port, which will protect existing jobs and create an additional 963 jobs for the region, generating an additional £23million a year for the Poole and Dorset economies.

“Crown Estates have made a decision not to approve the PHC or MDL scheme,” said Jim Stewart, chief executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners. “Effectively that scheme is dead in the water. We are continuing with the commercial port scheme.”

Presenting the plans to stakeholders that they have submitted to the Marine Management Organisation for a Poole Harbour Revision (Works) Order, commissioners say if approved, the six month project could be built next year.

“It’s very important for the port,” Mr Stewart. “It will enable us to create a new quay which will help us bring in bigger cruise ships to Poole. Sunseeker want to export their yachts from Poole.”

The luxury yacht company has already shipped out £80m worth of boats on a vessel that left Poole for Florida in March. “They want to bring in bigger ships and then they won’t have to send them to Southampton,” he said.

The aim is to dredge the commercial quays to 7.5 metres from the current 5.5m depth, making it the same as the main channel, which would also allow large cargo vessels to use the port.

While the quay marina scheme had proved controversial, he said: “We have had no objections at all through the last three years to the port development.”

Chairman Richard Lacey said: “A lot of people have expressed an interest in coming here and we need to provide better facilities.”

Fred Winwood, Hamworthy resident, former mayor and founder chairman of Residents Against Port Expansion (RAPE), formed to fight a previous scheme said after looking at the plans: “I am not going to have to resurrect RAPE.”