BEAUMARIS MARINA NEWS
PROPOSED BEAUMARIS MARINA FLOATS TO THE SURFACE ONCE AGAIN
November 7th 2009
The Anglesey Boat Company of Beaumaris first put in its planning application to build a 450 berth marina on Gallows Point in 1999, it was greeted very warmly by the vast majority of the local business people who predominantly depend on Tourism. It also received an ‘in-principle’ nod by the local community. The County Council approved the application and made preparations to ‘assist’ the companies operating on its land to move elsewhere.
However, the two companies that successfully manage and harvest the mussel beds in this stretch of the Menai Straits between Bangor and Beaumaris lodged their strong objection to the project that is proposed to bring £10 million a year into the local economy. Their objection was based on the 1962 Fisheries Act that allowed them exclusive rights to the seabed.
Although the area on the southern side of Gallows Point only amounts to about 4% of their mussel beds, they were determined to protect their entire assets by pre-empting any other future developments that might affect their others managed beds. The matter was raised all the way to Courts of Appeal in London where the three judges decreed that the marina should not be built because it would damage the mussel beds.
Fighting the appeal cost the Crown Estate and Anglesey County Council £500,000. However, the proposed Beaumaris Marina is back on the agenda for all those concerned.
MARINE AND COASTAL ACCESS BILL
The above bill that is currently working its way through Parliament now proposes an amendment to the 1962 Fisheries Act that would do away with the previous rights of exclusivity to the seabed in any area.
If all environmental concerns are addressed as part of a planning application there would be no reason why marinas and mussel beds could not reside and operate side-by-side.
Of course this is not law yet; however, Rupert Jones of the Anglesey Boating Company has stated that if there were to be a change in the law then they would be re-submitting their application for the proposed marina.
Understandably, the mussel fishing companies have declared that they would once again raise their opposition on the grounds that a marina located at Gallows Point would cause inevitable contamination of their mussel beds.
It must be remembered at this stage that any change in the law is only a proposal that is being considered among many other amendments to previous legislation in the Draft Marine Bill.
The proposed amendment has to make its way through both houses and various standing committees and report stages in order to become law.
It may well be discarded along the way as part of the inevitable horse-trading that goes on during any legislative process. “We’ll allow you this if you allow us that.” It’s always been the way.
So if the amendment comes into law then I can imagine solicitors and barrister sharpening up their pencils and girding their loins so that they can press down heavy on their bills.
This is one species that will not be weeping into their banana daiquiris at the prospect of future voyages through the courts once again.
I’ll keep you briefed. You’re input is always appreciated.
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