TWO Poole Harbour stakeholders have thrown their weight behind the operator of Cobbs Quay’s proposal to build a marina on Poole Quay.

James Sydenham and Robin Culpan are backing MDL’s plans to build a 600-berth marina off Poole Quay as an alternative to the Poole Harbour commissioners’ proposal for a marine centre.

MDL has emerged as the Crown Estate’s preferred bidder in a tender process and the marina operator’s plans include a high level access bridge to a car parking island, allowing fishing boats to pass beneath.

“Business and the future of Poole are on the line here,” said James, general manager of Golden Arrow Marine, a division of Salterns Marina at Lilliput which has 285 berths and 100 swinging moorings.

“There is no requirement for an additional 600 or 1,000 berth marina within Poole now, or for the next 25 years. Business has declined.

“We already have all the yacht clubs, marinas and swinging moorings.

“The council and PHC and operators should embrace the fact that clearly it is that simple to move the majority of Cobbs Quay boats to Poole Quay.

“They are the experts.

“They have a lot of marinas and boatyards.

“We would embrace them absolutely to build that marina on Poole Quay,” he said, adding that Cobbs Quay at Hamworthy could be redeveloped.

Robin Culpan, director of Dorset Lake Shipyard at Hamworthy, which has 46 berths and 100 swing moorings said: “PHC should not be competing against their stakeholders. They should be working with them.”

The Vision for Poole Group of four environmental associations has held meetings with MDL, PHC and the Crown Estate.

“The Vision for Poole Group and our supporting stakeholders will continue to fight to protect Poole Bay and ensure the environmental and visual impact of any development is acceptable to the community,” said spokesman Terry Stewart.