Charges could be imposed to use new Mamhead Slipway
PUBLISHED: 11:56 25 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:56 25 July 2013
Boat enthusiasts from all over the country could holiday in Exmouth if a brand new deepwater seafront slipway is built - but users could be charged to use it.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) bosses on Wednesday, resolved to use a ‘significant’ part of the cash made from selling the Elizabeth hall to put towards a new slipway.
Three options are on the table – but the water user’s favoured option could cost the equivalent of the entire ‘capital receipt’ from the hall’s sale.
The plans follow the closure of the free-to-use Mamhead Slipway, after a huge hole was found in its foundations last August.
The facility was the only slipway in Exmouth suitable for large powerboats and trailers.
And because of its importance to tourism and the economy, the project was added to the list of ‘priority’ regeneration projects in Exmouth.
The first option is to replace the current slipway as is, which would cost between £500,000 and £700,000.
Option two, preferred by water users, is a ‘reoriented’ slipway at the same location which enters the water at an angle.
This option includes developing the nearby Mamhead Gardens, for use as a trailer staging area.
It would cost twice the amount, between £1m to £1.3million - around the Elizabeth Hall’s price tag of just over £1.24million.
This option would also take a year longer to build.
Option three would be to relocate the slipway some 40m west, to run alongside the Pierhead.
It was suggested that the impact on the public purse could be lessened if users were charged.
Cllr Iain Chubb pointed out that the closest alternatives for boat users were in Lyme Regis and Teignmouth.
He said: “People come from as far as Bristol to Exmouth.
“It would be a real money spinner for Exmouth.”
Chairman of the Exmouth Regeneration board Councillor Andrew Moulding ‘recommended’ introducing a charging schedule at Exmouth.
EDDC’s deputy chief executive Richard Cohen said: “I certainly think charging should be in the mix.”
Project manager Dr Ian Harrison said: “Certainly if people are talking about an enhanced facility, it is easier to talk about a charging schedule.
“However if the facility is just a replacement of the existing slipway, charging could be more problematic.”