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Expansion - images shows how far the proposed pontoons could extend into Brightlingsea Creek

Petition against Morgan Marine development handed in to Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners

A petition signed by over 800 people against a marina expansion plan in Brightlingsea Creek has been handed in to Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners.

Those against Morgan Marine's plan to add 90 new berths to its existing facility say that it would adversely affect navigation for commercial and leisure users by encroaching into the main channel. They also claim that it would also have a detrimental affect on wildlife and amenity in a conservation area.

Campaigners against the development say petition signatories include former Brightlingsea harbour masters and harbour commissioners, as well as several barge skippers, and point out that commercial pilots have said that they will no longer be able to guide ships in to the town's wharf for safety reasons if the expansion goes ahead.


The petition

On Monday, September 13, Brightlingsea harbour staff laid buoys in the creek to indicate the location of the proposed outermost pontoons, and the approximate location of the widest boats that would be moored there. Our main picture (supplied by campaigners against the project) was taken on the same day around one hour after low water on a neap tide. The barge Edme, top centre, is in the middle of the channel, while the smack Harriet Blanche has run aground and spun with the wind towards the shore.

"The purpose of this petition was to show to Brightlingsea Harbour commissioners the strong views of its stakeholders over any further encroachment in the navigable channel, which is a designated conservation area as well as a maritime highway," said campaigners. "The petition was raised to protect this area for all to use and enjoy as opposed to it turning into a South Coast-style boat park."

Morgan Marine says the development will cost £2m and, as well as the new pontoons, will include a larger boat hoist, a new fuel berth and improvements to shore-based facilities for boat owners. A new showroom is nearing completion just outside the gates of the business's Shipyard Estate premises. Plans are currently before Tendring District Council – Brightlingsea Town Council took a neutral stance – awaiting a report from Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners, which has been undertaking a statutory consultation process with stakeholders. The harbour authority has said that it will publish a response to the consultation in due course.

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