You can’t have both

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
10:06 AM

I would like to clarify a point about the Knapp Marina development.

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The council’s environmental officer was clear in his presentation at the planning meeting that the noise from the shipyard would be in excess of what residents in a new housing development would tolerate.

Residents would have a statutory right to complain about the noise and to insist on reduction in noise levels and hours of operation (ie reduced output or closure for the yard). Both he and the planning professionals were specific and clear that this right to complain cannot be taken away from new residents who move in next to an existing industrial site.

Let us also remember that the developer’s noise mitigation idea is to build a multi-storey car park on the coast path between the shipyard and the houses.

They were quite clear, you can have this development or the shipyard, but not both. Councillors who voted in favour of the development showed a very casual disregard for this fact.

All the professionals investigating the application who spoke at the meetings – ie the planning department itself, environmental protection officer, the marina consultants et al – were all strongly against the proposal for many reasons.

It also goes against the current and new regional development plan. The councillors voting in favour of the project seemed to disregard all professional opinion that had been aired in the meeting and that of the meeting the previous month.

We also need to remember that the applicant does not even own the foreshore that he intends to build a canal through to access the marina.

Nor can the council enforce him to maintain the marina and dredge the river once the building is finished.

Gareth Cross

Northam

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