New ways to boost Selsey’s fishing industry could be explored as plans for a harbour have been shelved by Chichester District Council.
Consultants were employed to look into the possibility of a haven near East Beach not only for fishermen but to boost tourism and sea defences.
But after assessing the subsequent reports CDC has decided to spend no further resources on the project due to uncertainties around the scheme’s viability and the level of capital investment required, estimated at between £14m and £19m.
However CDC cabinet members agreed that if Selsey Town Council or the haven project’s steering group came up with any alternative projects to support the fishing industry they would be prepared to consider committing resources to preliminary work.
They also supported a number of actions be taken forward as part of work on a new vision for Selsey at a meeting on Tuesday (March 6).
These include better pedestrian wayfinding, new temporary commercial units or concessionary opportunities, employing a seafood and sales marketing champion, developing crab and lobster events and improving the public realm.
Tony Dignum, leader of CDC, said: “There may be future alternative measures possible to support the local fishing industry in addition to those already described in the Selsey Vision.”
Alongside berths for leisure and commercial use it was suggested a new harbour could include a cafe, restaurant and two retail units.
But an officers’ report explained how the project’s working group raised concerns that the original concept of a small haven has developed into a harbour for 130 berths, which it said would be ‘excessive’ for Selsey and therefore unlikely to be supported by residents.
John Connor, cabinet member for environment services, described how without a haven Selsey’s fishing industry would ‘gradually fade away’ as such activities ‘ceased to be viable’.
Jane Kilby, cabinet member for housing services, added: “I think it’s important to pursue options that can help regenerate and support the industry and Selsey.”
Selsey Town Council are discuss the haven project at a meeting tonight (Wednesday March 7).
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