Published: 00:01, 04 April 2017
Campaigners say plans for a marina in the Neptune’s Arm should be scrapped in favour of a £96m structure at the end of Herne Bay pier.
KentOnline's sister title the Herne Bay Gazette reported last week how supporters are still hopeful a 300-boat dock can be built close to the bandstand.
But former pier trust member Andy Newell says they should instead be looking at the eye-catching pier marina scheme, which would see the historic landmark rebuilt.
“No one is interested in the Neptune’s Arm marina,” Mr Newell, 60, said.
“The idea of building it for £18m is a fantasy. It is a waste of time and money and in the wrong location.
“I think we can get investors for a pier marina.”
Mr Newell’s scheme, which would house 200 to 300 boats, would cost close to £100m to build.
The plant operator, of Gordon Road, says the marina would act as a sea defence and could attract commercial vessels and fishermen.
"They are looking at the wrong option..." - Andy Newell
“I am doing this for the community of Herne Bay,” he added. “The pier marina is far from dead.
“We are still seeking further investors and we have a couple of things in the pipeline. I think we can get people onboard.
“They are looking at the wrong option at the moment as the marina would dry out – it is a fantasy and no one wants it.”
Last week, town councillor Andrew Cook (Con) dismissed claims the Neptune’s Arm project is dead in the water.
Council chiefs decided earlier this month that the authority will not fund the project after deeming it too expensive and risky.
However, Cllr Cook thinks it can still happen and is calling on residents to help raise £250,000 to cover the costs of submitting a planning application.
He responded to Mr Newell’s claims, saying the in-land marina is the best option.
“Our task is not an easy one, but it is a lot easier than getting £90m,” Cllr Cook said.
“I don’t want to rubbish their idea because if they can get £90m there is nothing stopping them doing it.
“If they can find investors to do it, it is not a problem. I would not stand in their way.”