Marina is slated by QE2 skipper
A retired captain of the QE2 said this week a marina at Sidmouth would be a sitting duck" in bad weather.
A retired captain of the QE2 said this week a marina at Sidmouth would be a "sitting duck" in bad weather.Roland Hasell, addressing a meeting of the Vision Group, said he had "very serious" public safety concerns about the proposal.In the last 20 years of his career as a master mariner he had investigated new destinations often in small exotic places around the world. His first consideration was always the need for a well-protected area to land passengers safely in calm water, essential to minimise the movement of a launch. Applying the same criteria to the suitability of a marina off Port Royal, he concluded that Sidmouth's totally open and vulnerable sea aspect made it a "sitting duck" for any sudden deterioration in weather conditions.The unsuitable underwater profile off Port Royal - its shallowness and contour - soon threw up, even in a moderate breeze, a steep choppy groundswell."I am somewhat alarmed at this whole marina concept," said Mr Hasell. "I feel the would-be developers are divorced from reality and that, in the interests of public safety, any application for a marina should be declared unacceptable and therefore refused."Mr Hasell, who moved from Cornwall to Sidmouth with his wife three years ago, was also concerned about the visual impact on Sidmouth.The need for a sheltered landing was also underlined by David Cooper, a yacht owner since 1966.He said the protective wall for a marina in such an exposed location would have to be huge. Silting up would need expensive dredging while, to make it work, there would have to be on-shore facilities such as a boat hoist and fuel supplies.Minimum sustainability was 450 berths, and he doubted Port Royal would benefit from passing trade.What he favoured was a landing jetty to allow the Stewart Line coastal pleasure craft to come in and out of Sidmouth without being governed by good weather and the state of the tide."As for a marina, I don't understand anybody even suggesting it," Mr Cooper said. "It would cost mega bucks to build and to maintain."l EDDC's executive will next week debate private developer Rowan Carter's bid for a 185-berth marina in tandem with the redevelopment of Port Royal.The Vision Group says Port Royal should be designated a regeneration area with the council commissioning an independent development and planning brief for the site.