Cowes Harbour Advisory Committee is supporting Cowes Harbour Commission plans to redevelop Kingston Wharf in East Cowes as a marine focused industrial estate.
The 10-acre waterfront marine employment site is home to the Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard, Commercial Marine Operations and Self-Storage facility, as well as a number of independent business tenants.The last two years, however, have seen significant changes with the departure of the two largest commercial tenants.
CHC believes this is the right time to make this commitment to regenerate Kingston Wharf, for the benefit of the whole River Medina and port of Cowes. CHC has been considering opportunities for developing the potential of the Kingston site with its all-tide deep-water access and wharfage. A feasibility plan was commissioned to investigate the potential for partial redevelopment as a marine business park and boatyard facility.
An outline plan has been developed that maximises the potential of the site in terms of new development, whilst also retaining CHC’s existing boatyard storage facility. The design allows for a larger hoist to be accommodated, should this be required in the future. Although outline at this stage, the development would create additional commercial units, with seven starter units on the upper terrace and four larger units on the lower terrace.
At a CHC Board meeting, Commissioners reviewed the proposals and agreed a recommendation to consult with the CHAC prior to commencing the process for seeking outline planning permission from the Isle of Wight Council.
The Board also agreed to progress the initial estimate costings into detailed costings and acknowledged that the scheme will have a funding shortfall that would require some form of grant funding support.
The initial phased development is likely to be driven by the new income revenue that can be achieved by expanding the boat storage facilities on to the lower terrace and utilising the two wharves for larger vessels and the potential addition of pontoons. There is also capacity to increase the size and number of boats that can be lifted by investing in an additional hoist for small vessels and, in time, increasing the size of the current hoist.
The subsequent phases will see the construction of the new commercial units where there is proven demand from occupiers. The first step is to make this strategic intention clear by submitting an outline planning application to enable CHC to react to market demand.