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Penzance/Newlyn/Penlee Technical Investigations

Penwith District Council have managed to secure over £600,000 funding (including European Objective One investment) for technical investigations in Mounts Bay to support work on the harbour developments at Newlyn and Penzance. The work will also encompass proposed sea defence work along the Penzance Promenade and explore the implications of MDL Developments Ltd's proposed new breakwaters to a new channel which will help turn Penlee Quarry into a site for a 190 berth marina.

"There are significant cost savings to be gained by acquiring the maritime data for all these developments at the same time", explains Nigel Horwell (Penzance Regeneration Manager). "Much of the data that will be acquired will be common to each of the developments. By working in partnership and pooling existing information we may also be able to make even further cost savings".

"Penwith are to be congratulated for promoting a working partnership in bringing together this research to enable the various regeneration schemes in Mount's Bay to progress" adds Edward Iliffe of MDL Developments Ltd.

The size of the contract has meant that Penwith District Council have been subject to European Union Procurement Rules. Twenty expressions of Interest were initially received in response to the EU Contract Notice from consulting engineers of international standing. These were short-listed to five from which Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd. was finally selected on a quality:price model basis. "The selection was weighted in favour of quality and the choice of Hyder Consulting was made on their tender being the most economically advantageous", said Nigel Horwell.

Ian George (Hyder's Project Manager) said, " We are delighted to have been appointed to work in partnership with Penwith District Council and the other funders to carry out the technical investigations and study work for this contract. Hyder have had an office in the South West for over 35 years and we are once again able to demonstrate our commitment to the region through this work."

Hyder are well known in the area for the work on widening and strengthening the Tamar Bridge and their previous work on the Penzance Sewerage Scheme for South West Water including Chyandour Sea Defences.

Michael Galsworthy CBE (Chair of the Newlyn Fish Industry Forum) commented, "I am delighted that there is solid progress on the technical investigations and that this is the first major concrete step in the overall regeneration strategy".

The Newlyn Forum has a large scheme for the future of Newlyn. Andrew Munson, Newlyn Harbour Master, declared "The Harbour Commissioners are delighted that, at long last, the vital importance of the port of Newlyn to the district of Penwith and the county of Cornwall has been recognised. The survey will enable the Commissioners to formulate their proposals for the long-term benefit of the port, maintaining its position as the top fishing port in England and Wales and ensuring continuation of employment for fishermen and associated workers".

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "Objective One is all about investing in the long term future of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. These technical investigations will give everyone a much clearer picture fo what is feasible in Newlyn and Penzance and we look forward to seeing the outcome."

Stephen Bohane, Head of Operations for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the South West Regional Development Agency, said, "We are pleased to offer funding support for this survey work which will help unlock major regeneration proposals. The RDA is committed to working with local partners to develop realistic projects which will improve the economy of the area".

Developments at Penzance harbour will centre on improving the facilities for the life-line link to the Isles of Scilly and creating space in an already congested harbour area. The Penzance Harbour Master, Neil Clark confirmed, " Its important to provide a modern facility for the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company and, in doing so, this will allow us to cater more efficiently for the visiting yachts and other vessels that use the inner dock. We would also be able to improve the working environment for the existing businesses that are placed around the dock". Jeff Marston, Chief Executive (Isles of Scilly Steamship Co.) said "This project marks a major step forward in providing the Isles of Scilly with a sustainable transport sea service".

David Pattison, Cornwall County Council's Assistant Chief Executive, said, "This is a good result from partnership working and shows how the County Council and District Councils can collaborate for the benefit of the local community".

The technical investigations will undertake a hydrographic survey of the inshore bathymetry of the area using side-scan sonar for the exposed rock head and boomer/pinger sub-bottom profiling for unexposed rock head. These will be backed up with borehole surveys and existing wave, wind, tidal and current measurements. This data will then be fed into a computer model to study the effects of the new developments on the waves and currents in the bay and to look at wave penetration in the harbours. A fundamental piece of the jigsaw will be to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment for each of the developments which will be used to support the any necessary Harbour Revision Orders. Equal Opportunities is also made an integral part of the investigations looking into such aspects as the proximity to public transport, potential for disabled parking, security, ability to exceed the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. A Flood Risk Study will be necessary to assess the development impact on the Newlyn Coombe River and to identify any opportunities to improve the discharge capacity of the river.

Nigel Horwell


LIST OF FUNDING BODIES (Listed in order of size of contributions starting from the greatest)

·Objective One Partnership (Government Office South West)
·Penwith District Council
·South West of England Regional Development Agency
·Cornwall County Council
·MDL Developments Ltd.
·Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commissioners
·Isles of Scilly Steamship Company
·Penzance Town Council
Newlyn Fish Industry Forum