Work starts on new RNLI boathouse site

PUBLISHED: 02:01 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:57 10 June 2010

WORK on the long-awaited Exmouth RNLI boathouse began yesterday when South West Water arrived and began digging the drainage system. The cutting-edge building aimed at sea safety is being built on the seafront near Maer Rocks after the RNLI successfully c

WORK on the long-awaited Exmouth RNLI boathouse began yesterday when South West Water arrived and began digging the drainage system.The cutting-edge building aimed at sea safety is being built on the seafront near Maer Rocks after the RNLI successfully campaigned for a new boathouse.Although the drainage system is now being primed for the work, a contractor to carry out the build has yet to be appointed by the RNLI.The developer is expected to begin building at the end of April or early May - and the £1.6 million multi-purpose built boathouse should be in operation from spring 2009.Exmouth lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley said: "They are re-routing the sewers and carrying out drainage diversions. They can't do anything until they find out what's underneath."The plan was to start building next month or early May and, as far as I know, we are still in line for that."It's got to be built in an environmentally-friendly mode so it doesn't affect the beach users or the birds and wildlife." The decision to build the new boathouse at Maer Rocks proved controversial throughout the town as residents disputed the location - saying the development would spoil the beach.The RNLI argued the current two-site facilities of a pre-fabricated dock-side building and a seafront stone building dating back to the 1800s were below par - with inadequate changing facilities and no toilet.All-weather lifeboat Forward Birmingham is tidally restricted and cannot get out past the sandbank at low water, the RNLI added.The new boathouse will house both the all-weather boat and the inshore lifeboat.

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