Mamhead slipway set to open in 2015
15:42 17 January 2014
A new Mamhead slipway for large boats with trailers should be completed and ready for use by summer next year.
And planning bosses have insisted that the safety of pedestrians, walking along the Esplanade towards the marina, is a high priority with plans for a special footway being drawn up.
From this week, the Mamhead Gardens will be closed off for investigation works by engineering contractors.
Investigations are being carried out into the current closed slipway to pave the way for the replacement or improvement of the facility, a key part of the Exmouth Vision
Engineers will be drilling a second borehole through the slipway to gain information about the makeup of the geology beneath the seabed.
These works will dictate the eventual design, including the path at the rear of the sea wall.
The sea area in the immediate vicinity of the slipway will also be out of use.
The work is expected to be completed by tomorrow (Friday).
Mamhead slipway was closed in August 2012 for safety reasons after a hole was found in its foundations.
However, there has been some concern that, once completed, the new facility will be a danger to pedestrians with trailers reversing from the Esplanade down the new slipway.
That area has no pavement and a new restaurant, The Waterfront, is being built next door and is expected to open this year.
An East Devon District Council spokesman said: “Following these further investigations, a recommended design will be prepared and a planning application submitted with a planned start on site for later this year.
“It is hoped that the slipway will open in time for the 2015 season.”
She added: “The restaurant gained planning permission with the slipway in use and the owners will have been fully aware of its proximity to the slipway.
“It is very positive for the town and seafront that such a prime location is being developed and we wish the restaurant operators well with their venture.
“We have been talking with them regularly over the last year and will continue to do so.
“There will be a footway at the front of the restaurant, and the safety of pedestrians is always a priority.
“With colleagues at Devon County Council, the highways authority, we will, of course, need to ensure public safety during the works at the slipway and after it is reopened.”