As the Isle of Wight Council reveals plans to work with a Devonshire company to develop Newport Harbour, a local tradesman is calling on the authority to “Keep It A Harbour” and is urging County Hall not to railroad Island marine firms.

As Isle of Wight Radio reported, architectural firm Kay Elliott has been appointed to take forward regeneration plans for the area.

Described as a “flagship site” by the Isle of Wight Council, the ambition is to “generate economic growth with new homes and improved harbour facilities.”

A masterplan is expected by April 2019 and it will be written into the Island Plan, and promoted to investment partners.

The Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely talks of,  

“…many great ambitious ideas for Newport Harbour, including space for small start-up businesses, an arts quarter linked to Quay Arts, a campus as part of an extension of higher education on the Island and a station as part of a possible extension of a railway connecting Newport with Ryde Specifically, I believe that the council should commit to a campus on the site and to ensure that the homes built there are overwhelmingly for Island youngsters and working families.”

But what about the original plan for Newport Harbour? Tradesman Malcolm Berry, who leases a boatyard there, warns, “what happened in Cowes could happen here”.

He’s referring to the granting of planning permission for major regeneration of Cowes’ Medina boatyard. Locals argued the scheme for hundreds of homes and commercial ventures would come at the cost of local marine firms and their ability to access deep-water moorings.

Malcolm wants “mild changes” as Newport Harbour moves forward, and claims developments already mean he and others are seeing a reduction in their ability to earn money on the quay.

The Isle of Wight Council has argued that it would be wrong to hold onto land if there is another possible use for it, even it is non-marine use.