Selsey Harbour plan gets a step closer

Aerial view of Selsey. Picture by Allan Hutchings
Aerial view of Selsey. Picture by Allan Hutchings

A FISH restaurant, harbour cafe and more could all be coming to Selsey.

Plans for the much-discussed Selsey Haven take a step closer this week as council bosses look at spending £13,000 on seeing how feasible it would be to build a harbour at the seaside town.

“The construction of a small harbour at Selsey will generate economic opportunities for the town, bringing benefits to fishing and recreational boat users while protecting the local area from sea flooding during stormy weather,” states a briefing paper set to come before Chichester District Council’s cabinet on Tuesday (September 8).

“It will build on the traditional small boat fishing industry in Selsey, a core economic activity for many generations of fishermen both here and in other coastal towns, whose fleets of small craft typify the south coast of England, and provide a focus for tourism on the Manhood Peninsula.”

Were it to go ahead, Selsey Haven would be built between the lifeboat station and East Beach Green and could provide a fish restaurant and harbour café, a harbour office, fish landing stage, a hatchery and an observatory for astronomy.

A harbour at Selsey has been discussed many times over the years, but this is the first time a formal proposal has begun to be put together.

Working together, the district council, Selsey Town Council and the Manhood Peninsula Partnership have been given £10,000 by the government’s department for communities and local government to become one of 116 coastal community teams.

This is part of a national scheme to ‘regenerate coastal areas’.

“The economic challenges on the Manhood Peninsula can be seen elsewhere along the Sussex coast but are particularly apparent in Selsey and East Wittering/Bracklesham,” said the briefing paper.

The new team – called the Peninsula Coastal Economy Team – is set to be affiliated with the Manhood Peninsula Partnership.

A total £23,000 cost has been identified by the district council to carry out a feasibility study on Selsey Haven (£18,000) and a demographic and employment development study for Selsey, East Wittering and Bracklesham (£5,000). With the grant from the government, this leaves £13,000 for the council to fund itself.

Should cabinet green light the cash spend, then the feasibility study is scheduled to be finished in February, 2016. The cost of the harbour is not yet known and would be established in the study.

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