A £25M marina could change the face of Poole Quay and be a tourist attraction in its own right.

A seaward extension to the Poole Quay Boat Haven has emerged as the preferred option of Poole Harbour Commissioners following an independent strategic environmental assessment.

Controversial proposals for a 900-berth marina in front of Hamworthy Park came off second best but with a further six weeks of consultation just beginning, are not yet dead in the water.

However the commissioners’ preferred options now include a Quay-based marine centre which could include berths for super-yachts and a venue for major events including tall ships festivals and superyacht events, a harbour walkway and new visitor attraction.

“Looking at all of these issues it clearly emerged that the environmental impact is greater with the Hamworthy option than the Poole Quay Boat Haven extension,” said chief executive Jim Stewart.

A year’s consultation which included more than 60 meetings with residents and groups also pointed in that direction.

“Yes, we want to go ahead with all of the different options relating to the port development and the Poole Quay Boat Haven extension is now our preferred option,” he said.

Design work has yet to be carried out, however the proposal includes a car park on the port with a water taxi taking owners to their boats.

While the commissioners will now be consulting on the second version of their Master Plan, they are not completely ruling out their first option of a marina at Hamworthy.

The newly-launched consultation extends to November 6 and will include presentations and meetings. The plan and assessment are available on phc.co.uk.

  • PLANS for a massive 950-berth marina, set 200 metres offshore from Hamworthy Park were revealed by harbour commissioners in February 2011 and almost immediately condemned by residents and park users, including windsurfers.

Despite PHC chairman Richard Lacey pledging that “not one blade of grass” of Hamworthy Park would be touched, residents were not placated.
The plan involved a new home for Poole Yacht Club, which also proved contentious.

In September 2011 an alternative to Hamworthy, an extension to the PHC-owned quay boat haven was put forward by commissioners. This is now the preferred option.

‘There was no virtue in Hamworthy option’

“I AM delighted they have picked the Poole Quay option,” said Bruce Grant-Braham, chairman of Poole Tourism Partnership, pictured far left, who said he had supported it all the way along.

He said: “There are statistics that every yachtie spends something like £70 per head in a visiting port per night and the potential advantage to Poole and Poole restaurants and shops are enormous.”

Windsurfer Mike Barnett, left, whose Drop A Piano on the Hamworthy marina petition attracted over 1,000 signatures said it was “brilliant” news.

“There is absolutely no virtue in the Hamworthy option,” he said.

“It always appeared to be a completely ridiculous choice because there are so many problems that would be likely to be caused by it.”