A public consultation is under way for proposed changes to the Outer Harbour Project at Cowes, Isle of Wight.

It follows the completion of the 350m breakwater at the harbour entrance last November, which marked the end of phase 1 of the Cowes Outer Harbour Project (OHP).

The new breakwater has caused changes to tidal flows in the area, some of which differ from predictions, particularly at HW -1.

Breakwater ­‐ tides and sedimentation

Breakwater ­‐ tides and sedimentation

The proposed changes to the OHP are designed to mitigate cross-harbour flows, minimise sedimentation, improve navigation, and ensure sheltered dayboat mooring provision.

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) held a public presentation and review of the Outer Harbour Project on 19 May 2016 at the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, which attracted an audience of more than 100 people.

Among the purposes of the meeting was to consult with stakeholders and the Harbour Advisory Committee prior to any decisions being made on the next two phases of the project, the Shrape Breakwater extension and Eastern Channel dredge.

CHC was joined at the meeting by hydrodynamic consultants ABPmer and programme managers Marina Projects to report on the development of a new tidal model, bathymetric, tidal flow and sedimentation surveys, peer reviews and sedimentation studies, all carried out over the past year as a result of changes noted to tidal flows and concerns over sedimentation in the harbour.

Outer harbour project design change proposals

Outer harbour project design change proposals

The proposed changes
The OHP design change proposals are illustrated in the diagram above.

In brief, the extension to the Shrape Breakwater will be moved south by 30 metres and aligned east-west. The width of the Eastern Channel will be increased from 30 to 40 metres and the alignment amended. There will also be some additional dredging improvements to the harbour.

  • SHRAPE EXTENSION: move south by 30m, align east-west
  • EASTERN CHANNEL: Increase width from 30 to 40 metres & amend alignment
  • DREDGING: Additional dredging improvements in harbourFollowing the OHP public meeting, a month-long consultation period is taking place, up to 21 June, involving key stakeholders and the Harbour Advisory Committee.

The consultation is considering CHC’s proposed changes and additions to both the dredging of the Eastern Channel and the construction of the Shrape extension. It is those proposed changes to the scheme, and not the principle of the already consented scheme as a whole, that is the subject of the consultation.

Following the consultation period that ends on 21 June, CHC will consider all comments and feedback received, consult with the Harbour Advisory Committee, ABPmer and Marina Projects, before making any decisions on the next phases of harbour infrastructure.

The public presentations, reports, reviews, and tidal simulations are all published on CHC’s website: http://www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/report_on_cowes_outer_harbour_project_public_meeting

The original, consented outer harbour project plan

The original, consented outer harbour project plan

The deadline for the consultation is Tuesday, 21 June.

Comments and feedback may be submitted by emailing CHC or the Advisory Committee (CHAC): chc@cowes.co.uk or chac@cowes.co.uk, or via your Advisory Committee representative.