Report on siltation; Latest on the groyne
Dear BHT Members,
We wish you a happy new year and hope for a better year for the harbour that so urgently needs dredging and repair.
New report on siltation in Bembridge Harbour
At the AGM attendees learned that if siltation in Bembridge Harbour is allowed to carry on at its current rate, in as little as 15 years we could see a sand bank showing in the middle of the harbour even at high tide, right where boats currently sail.
That’s the conclusion of analysis of the latest LiDAR survey data (a sophisticated kind of aerial survey) by Jeremy Gully, chair of Bembridge Harbour Trust, as he explained at the Trust’s AGM, held at Bembridge Sailing Club last month.
According to Mr. Gully, “The equivalent of four 10 tonne truck loads of sand from the sea and silt from the river settle in the harbour daily. Yet over the last seven years, only an average half a truck load a day has been dredged from inside the harbour”.
A 2009 public report by the Environment Agency and the Isle of Wight Council had already warned about this trend – similarly based on survey evidence.
However, the latest LiDAR data reveals the quantities and distribution of material entering the harbour over a 20 year period. Now, we can differentiate between silt and sand, allowing us to estimate how much of the build up is coming from the river and how much from the sea. The worrying conclusion in Mr Gully’s report is that rate at which the harbour is filling up has accelerated in recent years.
With a much clearer picture of the problem, we can start to talk with more confidence about causes and, most importantly, possible solutions. Bembridge Harbour Trust has already made numerous positive suggestions, actively supported and raised money for the groyne project and could even help to raise financial help for other projects if needed.
A short video of Mr Gully’s presentation, ‘Siltation in Bembridge Harbour’ and the full Siltation Report are available on the website.
Latest on the Groyne
Sadly Mr and Mrs Thorpe are withholding the Statutory Harbour Authority’s cooperation with the BHUG groyne project. They say that unless and until their separate property company achieve, what in their eyes is, a satisfactory planning consent they put the Groyne “in limbo”.
Members will recall that the development of houses is predicted to deliver profits exclusively to BIL (a separate property company), and NONE for the Statutory Harbour Authority. BHT and BHUG see this “limbo” as entirely unreasonable. It represents highly questionable conduct by the directors of the Statutory Harbour Authority responsible for the maintenance of the Harbour. An open letter was sent by the BHUG chairmen. Mr and Mrs Thorpe responded and asked that their response be circulated to BHUG and BHT members. We copy the BHUG message to their members.
The good of the Harbour and the vitality of the communities depend upon the proper reinvestment of incomes in line with legislation. This should be visible to the public as reasonable transparency is called for in Government guidance to all Statutory Harbour Authorities that are charged by Government to manage in the broad public interest.
BHT Trustees will continue to vigorously hold the Harbour’s Management to account in 2020, in meetings with the Thorpes, lobbying the appropriate authorities and if needed, as a last resort, consider legal actions. All BHT actions are taken with the very clear objective of securing a sustainable future the Harbour compliant with regulation thus avoiding its evidenced and unnecessary deterioration.
Please continue to support us in this crucial task by making a payment to Bembridge Harbour Trust at Lloyds 30-97-21, a/c 00950539 or viaVirgin Giving.
The AGM reaffirmed that founder members are invited make a donation of £50 pa (or more) to maintain our day to day expenses. The Trustees are not paid and do not claim expenses but need your ongoing support to keep the Trust on a sound footing.
Bembridge Harbour Trust