SHDC looks for approval for commercial units and new Harbour Authority workshop

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SHDC looks for approval for commercial units and new Harbour Authority workshop

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South Hams District Council is looking to build commercial units on Batson Creek and a new workshop for the Salcombe Harbour Authority.

SHDC is seeking approval to continue with the delivery of two projects in Salcombe, both of which, they say, will “help the town to remain a sustainable and viable coastal community for years to come”.

The district council is presenting information regarding the construction of five new commercial units, to “create and support local jobs”, and a new workshop that will “ensure that the Salcombe Harbour Authority can continue to deliver first class customer service”.

SHDC is looking to construct five new commercial units in Batson Creek, in an “effort to create jobs and support local enterprise”. The project will “begin to address these existing issues which are holding back the productivity of small and medium enterprises and is therefore vital in enabling the area to diversify and continue to thrive as a marine hub” said a spokesperson.

The Salcombe Harbour team is to receive a “big boost” of its own, with a new “modern, purpose built facility to replace the older outdated facility” located on Island Street. The project will ensure the authority can undertake its operational duties in a “safe and efficient manner” and “future the use of wider vessels to meet tightening restrictions”.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of SHDC and Member for Salcombe and Thurlestone, said: “Ever since the employment unit project was first mooted, I have been behind the project, in the hopes of providing much needed extra employment space in Salcombe. It’s really good news at last that the project is moving forward.”

Cllr Mark Long, Member for Salcombe and Thurlestone, said: “The provision of new employment units has been talked about for a long time and at last we have the opportunity to provide sustainable and affordable workspace for small local businesses.
“These are essential to keep our small businesses operating in town, allow them to grow and provide employment where it is needed. The project timing will help the surrounding area to help move on from the impact of Covid.”

Much of the interest in the new industrial units has come from local marine services and commercial operators on the estuary. SHDC say that these businesses are “crucial in keeping Salcombe Harbour safe, fun and functioning each season”.

The units would cost in excess of £1 million to construct. They would be sited close to the Creek Car Park, where the boats are stored each winter, away from the constraints of Island Street. Each unit would have its own parking and loading area, but space would remain for trailer parking during the summer season. The existing recycling bank and oil disposal point would be relocated as part of the plans, but would remain close by.

If given the go ahead, the new harbour team workshop would have a large service area, incorporating an integrated hoist system and sufficient space to service the boats inside, which would prove crucially important in the winter months. The building would include changing and mess rooms, as well as office and meeting space. It would have a 30m² solar array on the roof which should provide the power requirements for its operation when the sun shines.

A spokesperson for Salcombe Town Council said: "Of course Salcombe Town Council are pleased that Salcombe is at long last getting new commercial units aimed at their local marine businesses, and the new harbour workshop will free up their existing unit for rental, which is also good news."

The council’s Executive Committee met to discuss the plans on Thursday, 11 March. During the meeting it was said there was “widespread support being expressed for the project”, but that Cllr Pearce highlighted the “inevitable” disruption to Creek Car Park and requested that “officers work closely with Salcombe Town Council in order to minimise the impact”.

Finance for the Batson project will be met through internal borrowing, in the form of "a 50 year loan of up to £780,000 at a fixed Interest Rate of 1.5 per cent to fund the construction, with the remainder to be funded through capital receipts". 

Funding for the Salcombe Harbour Authority workshop will be met with "an internal borrowing facility available to Salcombe Harbour Authority, in the form of a 50 year loan of up to £1.225 million at a fixed interest rate of 1.5 per cent to fund the construction".

To find out more about the individual applications, visit the South Hams Planning Portal and search for 1505/19/FUL (or click HERE) for the commercial units or 1522/19/FUL (or click HERE) for the Harbour Authority workshop. 

Main image: One of the sketches of the proposed new Harbour Authority workshop - Design and Access Statement, Inspire Architects 

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