The Lymington Society has followed the debate concerning the proposed scheme to improve the Lymington Town Quay, since the Harbour Commissioners raised the need for improved shower and toilet facilities on the Quay to accompany their proposal for new and enhanced “walk-ashore” moorings, which the Society had previously supported. These new moorings should enable Lymington to compete with other harbours locally, such as Yarmouth, and bring more visitors directly into the heart of the town, benefitting local business and bringing more vitality to the area.
However, the Society has always hoped that any proposals for the Quay should not be simply a short term fix for the shower and toilet facilities but should take the opportunity to bring much needed improvements to the Quay as a whole. Following much delay and some recent consultation with residents on the Quay, the NFDC has now decided that their recent proposals for the Quay will now not be going ahead and that a wide ranging consultation process will now take place.
Speaking after the announcement of a full consultation exercise by the NFDC, Society Press Spokesman Don Mackenzie said:
“There can be no doubt that the Quay as it currently laid out is in urgent need of improvement. The use of the area as mainly a car park seems a terrible waste for an area that should be the focal point for visitors for the town with a pleasant public space at its heart.
An attractive public space where events related to the river and the sea could be held, such as classic boat regattas or old gaffer rallies – which have been so successful in Yarmouth, would in the Society’s view be a much better use of the space than as a car park.
It now appears that due to continued behind the scene debates between the various parties to the scheme as to the best way forward, the previously very tight schedule to complete any new facilities in time is no longer feasible. The NFDC have now decided to call a halt to the current proposals, which had only been shown to a few residents on the Quay and to go back to the drawing board with a full consultation exercise involving a wide range of interested parties.
The Society had previously written to the NFDC criticising the apparent secrecy of their proposals and the Society is glad that a proper consultation process for this important part of the town is now to be carried out. It is surely a matter of regret that the authorities had not shown more determination to get this scheme agreed and implemented, in time for the new moorings coming on stream in early 2020.
However, it is in the Society’s view far better to delay and get the right scheme than bring forward a less ambitious scheme, simply to meet the deadline of the new moorings being completed.
The Society has now been invited to an NFDC Consultation meeting in early August and intends to push the case for a bold and far reaching scheme that puts the creation of a vibrant public space at the heart of the plans for the area and which will hopefully see the bulk of the parking removed to other areas of the town.
We hope that the community will take an active part in the forthcoming public consultations so that a consensus can be reached and hopefully the result will be an exciting new look for the Quay in the future.”
Lymington Society Press Spokesman