Cowes Harbour Commission
Harbour Authority & Marine Services
Newsletter 29th March 2018
Medina Yard Development Approved by IWC
As reported widely in the local media, the Harrison Trust’s plans to develop Medina Yard in Cowes have been approved by the Isle of Wight Council Planning Authority. At the planning hearing, strong objections were raised by CHC and harbour stakeholders. However, the application was approved on the condition that phases one and four of the development run parallel to preserve the marine industry at the site. This means that the creation of the marine employment space (phase 4) will have to be given full planning permission before any work can begin at the site.

Cowes Harbour Commissioners (CHC) will review the full implications of the Council’s planning decision on the Medina Yard development and CHC’s position, in consultation with the Harbour Advisory Committee and other key parties.

The Commissioners and I would like to emphasise that as Harbour Authority for Cowes and regardless of this planning outcome for Medina Yard, CHC has a firm ongoing commitment to work with all parties, to endeavour to maintain sustainable and deliverable marine employment sites and harbour facilities to enable both interim and long-term solutions for the Island’s marine industry.

Meanwhile, this coming Easter weekend sees the traditional start to the Cowes racing season with the RORC Easter Challenge and also JOG’s Cowes to Cherbourg Race. Plus, look out for the new Cowes Harbour Handbook that is due to be distributed around Cowes very soon.

Wishing all our readers a very Happy Easter and safe sailing in 2018.

Capt. Stuart McIntosh - Cowes Harbour Master
One team - one name
Cowes Harbour Services is the new division name for the marine services arm of Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC), encompassing moorings, boatyard, storage, fuel, and commercial.

Following the Marine Services Review last autumn, the Commission has taken the decision to amalgamate its marine services teams into one provider with one name. This new division, Cowes Harbour Services, will comprise what were Kingston Marine Services and Boatyard, Cowes Harbour Moorings and Cowes Harbour Fuels. 

The change will enable CHC to further the Commission’s ethos of one team working together to provide marine services to customers, all under the Commission’s name and adhering to its core values and guiding principles.

The Commission’s objectives going forward are to continue the same high levels of customer service and value for money, provided by an efficient and welcoming team – under the new banner of Cowes Harbour Services.

General Directions - what are they and why are they important?
“The Master of any vessel loading or unloading cinders, bricks or dung shall cause a canvas cloth or sheet to be fastened from such vessel to the wharf or quay”. So said Cowes Harbour Byelaws as recently as 1972!

In 2012 an Act of Parliament approved a new statute; the “Cowes Harbour Revision Order”. This came into effect the following year and opened the way for Cowes Harbour Commission to give or amend “ directions for the purpose of promoting or securing conditions conductive to the ease, convenience or safety of navigation, the safety of persons and the protection of property, flora and fauna of the harbour”, in other words General Directions.  

Cowes Harbour General Directions were updated as recently as 1st June 2017, when in response to submissions largely from the Dayboat classes, rules for sailing within the small craft moorings area were modified to meet the particular needs of unpowered sailing vessels. The full text of the latest edition of Cowes General Directions can be found on CHC’s website.

Seasonal water taxi service
Cowes Harbour Commission has just granted a stakeholder subsidy contribution towards the operation of a 7-days-a-week water taxi service to run daily from Thursday, 29th March to 30th September.

The Cowes Water Taxis service will start on 29th March with a new charging system in place that is based on a zone method, similar to that used on the London Underground. The new charges have been simplified, and aim to be more transparent, with some fares working out cheaper than 2017 prices.

Key Notice: Safety of Navigation within Cowes Harbour
Local Notice to Mariners No. 05 of 2018 highlights the basic safety guidance that everyone should be aware of, whether they are just visiting Cowes or a resident mooring holder. It covers some of the key General Directions (regulations) that apply to all vessels using the harbour, as well as safety information on the Cowes Breakwater, tidal flows in the harbour, and the safe use of the Small Craft Channel and Shrape Watersports Area.

Date for your diary: CHC Annual Public Meeting
The date has been set for the Commission’s Annual Public Meeting, to take place on Thursday, 24th May at The Sugar Store Events Centre, which is conveniently located at Cowes Harbour Shepards Marina on Medina Road and close to the Chain Ferry to East Cowes.

The Annual Public Meeting provides interested stakeholders with an update on what CHC has done over the past year, its future plans, and an opportunity to direct questions to the Harbour Master, CHC Chairman and Commissioners. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend.
Date for your diary: British Marine "On the Water" event
Cowes Harbour Commission is pleased to be supporting the British Marine Isle of Wight “On the Water” event on Saturday, 12th and Sunday, 13th May at Cowes Yacht Haven.

This free event runs from 1000 to 1600 and is suitable for all the family. Come along and try paddle boarding, dinghy and yacht sailing, jet skis, kayaking, RIB rides, windsurfing and much more.

There will be a number of demonstrations, dependent on operational requirements and weather permitting. Learn about The National Coastwatch Institute, The Coastguard and The Maritime Volunteer Service. Find out about job opportunities in the marine sector, including case study talks.
On the Water - British Marine event