This project, after nearly 8 year’s development, was close to getting the go-ahead when the Regional Development Authority, SEEDA was abolished by government. But the good news is that the Homes and Communities Agency has decided to restore funding to the project. Cowes Harbour Commission are providing leadership for the scheme
Throughout this period, SPS has supported the development in principle. We agree with Stuart McIntosh who recently said
“Cowes is not a natural harbour and is very exposed to weather from the northerly quadrant highlighted by significant gales in 2012 which resulted in the sinking of five yachts in the harbour.
It is not just the harbour that the breakwater will protect and strengthen, but the local economy.”
There is a very full explanatory statement on the Cowes Harbour Commission website.
Some time ago CHC produced a video about the development. It is still valid, though the role of SEEDA has been taken over by the HCA. It is well worth the time to view the video here.
This is an exciting project that will benefit all Solent users, and any breakwater which will protect the harbour from winds in the northerly quadrant is to be welcomed. It is, however, inevitable, given the need for entrance channels, that these will limit the protection given by the new breakwater to parts of the harbour in certain winds and states of the tide. Its precise shape and position have already been adjusted to preserve the habitat for the eel grass on the Shrape shoal The breakwater must be short enough to provide adequate entrance channels and long enough to provide sufficient shelter to justify its cost: even the most sophisticated computer modelling will be tested to the full in achieving this objective.
The construction of the breakwater will make possible the implementation of the scheme for developing the waterfront of East Cowes by the provision of a marina and other facilities, first proposed by Uffa Fox in the nineteen thirties, for which planning permission has been granted by the Isle of Wight Council