£300k kitty to bring harbour up to date

WHITBY Harbour Board discussed a five step plan on Monday that will help bring the harbour back up to date.

Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) has allocated £1.3m of capital funds to improve Whitby harbour, assisted by a grant from Yorkshire Forward and £300,000 of this remains, so the board has drawn up an investment plan of how it would like this money to be spent.

The five steps are:

l improvements to upper harbour waste oil and fuel facilities

l improvements to navigational aid and lighting

l replacement of leisure pontoons on the east side

l additional CCTV provision in the upper harbour

l new fuel facility for the upper harbour

These priority investments were identified as the result of three separate consultation meetings with Whitby Town Council, Whitby Harbour Consultative Group and Whitby Harbour Users.

The relocation and improvement of the waste oil and fuel facilities will remove the unsightly derelict temporary buildings and waste oil facilities, replacing them with an “environmental compound” on Endeavour Wharf.

In what will be the largest overhaul in 30 years, the leisure craft pontoons to the east side of the harbour are set to be replaced.

Eighteen new leisure craft pontoons will be installed and will also be fitted with an electricity supply.

Once replaced, the old pontoons may be refurbished and reused, depending on their individual condition.

The current navigational aids within the harbour are seen as outdated, relying on an electrical supply and are unlikely to meet current standards during inspections.

In the coming months, these old lights will be replaced by modern LED solar powered units at 10 locations, including the harbour entrance.

Following a number of incidents of serious assault, theft, damage to property and antisocial behaviour, additional CCTV coverage is to be installed in the harbour.

SBC project manager Alex Richards said: “There has been a number of incidents taking place in that area and it’s a blind spot on the existing system.”

A single camera will be installed to assist the two already located in the harbour and should provide additional security to boats in the upper reaches of the marina.

While each of these four projects are set to be implemented over the coming months, the establishment of an alternative fuel dispensing facility – seen as one of the highest priorities – is not set to be undertaken in the near future, as the options are too expensive or seen as unsuitable.

At present, leisure craft users wanting to refill their boats are required to dispense the fuel into jerry cans and carry the fuel to their boats, a system completely unsuitable for larger vessels and hazardous for amateur users.

With £198,000 assigned with the other four improvements, £101,000 remains, meaning the estimated £244,000 required to install a floating fuel pontoon is beyond the available budget.

A cheaper option is a £45,000 fuel tank and dispensing system located on Endeavour Wharf, but this would tie up valuable wharf space and would be unusable by larger vessels such as those associated with the offshore wind farm.

It is seen as no better than the options currently available and the board decided to defer a decision until the future of the harbour, with relation to the wind industry, was clarified.