Exmouth Marina dredging works could resume this autumn

PUBLISHED: 10:14 20 February 2019

Exmouth marina. PICTURE: Terry Ife

Exmouth marina. PICTURE: Terry Ife

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Exmouth Marina Ltd have submitted a license variation application in a bid to resume dredging this October

Dredging in Exmouth Marina could be set to resume this autumn after a bid to overturn a year-long license suspension was launched.

Exmouth Marina Ltd’s silt clearance activities in the marina ground to halt in February last year after complaints from beach-goers in Teignmouth that a ‘black silt-like’ material was being washed up.

The substance was believed to have come from the nearby Sprey Point - a designated disposal point for silt dredged from Exmouth Marina.

The licence suspension is due to expire in April this year.

Now, Exmouth Marina Ltd has applied to vary the conditions of its licence in a bid to resume dredging in October this year.

If approved, the company says there would be a 65 per cent reduction in the amount of silt cleared from the seabed and activity would be limited to a three month period – between October 2019 and January 2020.

The firm’s application said the variation would ‘reduce the amount of sediment deposited to reflect operational requirements’.

Alec Carter, director of Exmouth Marina, said: “The silt is still coming in from the river and we need to do something about it.

“We are cooperating with the MMO by putting in the variation application which is out for consultation and hopefully we can be dredging as soon as possible within the period as identified in the variation.”

Exmouth Marina Ltd started dredging early last year after it was granted a licence from the MMO in August 2017.

However, its licence was suspended in February 2018 and an investigation was launched after ‘black silt-like’ material began washing up on Teignmouth’s seafront.

Both the MMO and Environment Agency visited the beach within a month of the licence being suspended.

An MMO spokesman said: “Neither organisation observed significant discolouration and it appeared that minimal black material was on the beach following storm events.

“We received no further evidence to indication additional material has been washed up and clean-up activities were not deemed necessary.”

Exmouth Marina Ltd’s application has now gone to consultation, with public comments invited until this Monday (March 4).

Members of the public can have their say on the application by visiting the Government’s marine licence register website and using the reference MLA/2016/00372

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