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News Archive > General > New harbour proposal being looked into

New harbour proposal being looked into

By Simon Fernley 14th February 2020

New harbour proposal being looked into
The Gazzle at Newquay could be transformed by a major scheme being put forward

A NEWQUAY resident has floated plans to build a new harbour, breakwater or marina at the Gazzle to help give the town a boost.

Dr Steve Wooltorton believes the safe haven for boats on the north coast is long overdue due to its danger, especially in a northerly wind.

He personally favours the idea of constructing a breakwater to keep calm water in the Gazzle as it would have no impact on the shoreline.

A marina would allow direct access by foot from the shore. Shortcomings Dr Wooltorton believes a new harbour, marina or breakwater will be of huge benefit to the town due to the shortcomings of Newquay Harbour as it is reliant on the tide, becomes overcrowded in the summer and dangerous at its entrance in certain conditions.

He also argues a new harbour, marina or breakwater could give Newquay a financial benefit as it would attract touring yachts and provide local moorings, as well as a location for the lifeboat. Local fishermen could have a permit to tie up, allowing all tide access.

Dr Wooltorton put forward his proposal to Newquay Town Council at its meeting on Wednesday of last week. He highlighted there could well be the argument to leave the Gazzle alone because of the natural beauty of the area.

Councillors voted to set up a working party to investigate the idea further, which will consist of representatives including councillors, Cornwall Council and the harbourmaster.

Dr Wooltorton said: “Newquay harbour is a gem. It is a fantastic place. Everybody enjoys its beauty and facilities. It has some serious shortcomings however. The surf breaks across the harbour mouth at times, causing obvious danger.

"It is small, and therefore in the summer, extremely crowded. Last but not least, for half the time there is not enough water in it for it to function as a harbour. “Can these shortcomings be addressed? I put a proposal to Newquay Town Council to look into the issue and was pleased at their positive response.

“Some 20 years ago, local boatman Johnny Bennetts proposed building a large harbour on the Newquay Bay side of the Gazzle, encompassing the lifeboat slip area. He envisaged passenger ships docking with many passengers as now happens on Scilly. Some 80 cruise ships visited there last year.

“I had preferred the option of a smaller marina in the same area, giving safe anchorage to visiting yachts as well as handy tie-ups for the local fishermen so they were not tide-restricted. I now favour a breakwater which doesn’t impact on the shoreline at all – mainly because of wildlife factors.

Cllr Joanna Kenny said: “I have been trying to get a deep water harbour for Newquay for years. It is a really interesting idea.”

Cllr Mark Formosa added: “This is a very tidal part of the coast and there is no safe haven from Milford Haven down to Newlyn. I think it would be well used.”

Cllr Olly Monk said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity. I think financially it would be great for the town. It would be rejuvenating as it would bring yachts to Newquay.”

By Simon Fernley 14th February 2020

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