Home Kent News Dover’s new boat-less marina has opening date delayed again

Dover’s new boat-less marina has opening date delayed again

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Original article from Kent Live

Dover's new marina now won't open until at least 2022, according to Port bosses.

A new public area known as Clock Tower Square opened last week on the concrete curve adjacent to the new marina.

But the marina itself still doesn't have any boats.

Read more: 7 Dover place names people can't say properly

The pontoons, which have been in place since the end of 2019, remain empty to this day.

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Soon after construction the Port of Dover discovered it would be too dangerous to moor them there due to a tidal swell within the harbour.

Modelling carried out prior to the £250 million Dover Western Docks Revival scheme has turned out to be inaccurate.

Towards the end of last year, a Port spokesman told KentLive that they "expect to be able to transition to the new facilities in 2021".

The curve is nicely paved but empty

However this week, a spokesperson said a second wave wall would have to be built, and that the transition will now happen "in 2022".

They didn't even say whether it would be in the early part of 2022.

They said: "Despite the challenges we have faced with COVID-19, good progress has been made on the new marina, including the construction of access roads, car parking, a large public area, ablution facilities and particularly addressing the swell situation that was shown to occur very occasionally during specific weather conditions.

The new Clock Tower Square public area

"In order to address this long wave swell phenomenon, the inner wave wall was constructed as the first step of potential solutions.

"This clearly delivered significant improvement (also observed by contractors working on the pontoons) and we continued to monitor this during stormy weather.

"This identified the need to move to the next step, which is to scope out an additional outer wave wall to further improve conditions.

"This therefore means that the transition is now likely to take place in 2022 to enable us to implement this extra measure and continue with our extensive testing.

"This reflects the safety-first approach at the heart of all port operations and berth holders have been regularly informed at each stage."

The Dover Western Docks Revival project has been under way since 2017.

It involves the relocation of the cargo terminal from the Eastern Docks, a new distribution centre, new deep water berths and a new marina, the last of which was championed as a major regeneration project that could transform the fortunes of the town.

It involved moving the marina that currently lies next to the A20 to the main seafront.

Adjacent, a huge concrete curve would hold shops, bars and restaurants that overlooked the yachts and other small boats.

Dover's new marina is eventually supposed to have shops, bars and restaurants

But it later emerged that commercial units would only become reality if they were funded externally.

Earlier this year, plans were submitted for a mixed use development on the new Marina Curve, including a hotel made out of shipping containers.

But they were criticised by Dover District Council's planning committee, which deferred a decision and asked for them to be reconsidered.

The Port spokesperson said last week: "We are continuing to work with developers in order to find a suitable solution that addresses previous comments received from local stakeholders whilst promoting employment opportunities for Dover.

"We look forward to a further submission being made in due course."

Original Article