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Home / News / Vehicular Access to SGBA Premises Along the Foreshore

Vehicular Access to SGBA Premises Along the Foreshore

Published 10:40 on 22 Jun 2021

Vehicular Access to SGBA Premises Along the Foreshore

As many members are aware, the club has been working to revise the planning consent for the SGBA clubhouse with South Hams District Council (SHDC), specifically regarding who is able to use the club premises and to allow some vehicular access along the foreshore - the latter of which has not been allowed at all, except in exceptional circumstances.

Vehicular access has proved a sensitive issue in the village but I am pleased to report that SHDC has now granted the consent we required, but it remains the case that there is no member access to SGBA premises (including the clubhouse, dinghy park and foreshore boat storage areas) in vehicles at any time, except for a period of one week at the beginning of the boating season and one week at the end of the boating season.

These weeks, and details of how access will be organised and booked, will be notified to members with reasonable advance notice each year by email, newsletter, and via the club website.

Please note that this restriction on vehicle access also applies to contractors or commercial suppliers who may be engaged by members to service, repair, deliver or retrieve boats or equipment or similar activities.

Decision Background

When planning consent was originally granted for the then new SGBA clubhouse the following planning conditions were added:

Condition 4: The building hereby approved shall only be used by Stoke Gabriel Boating Association and its members.
Reason: To safeguard the amenity and character of the surrounding area.

Condition 11: No vehicular access to the application site shall occur.
Reason: To safeguard the amenity, character and biodiversity of the surrounding area.

Last year we submitted an application to revise these two conditions to allow reasonable access to the club premises by visitors and non-members and also to allow reasonable and necessary vehicular access.

On the latter point, and perhaps as expected through the formal consultation process, various stakeholders and members of the community raised concerns and voiced them in numerous objections.

We worked to find a way forward that would balance the legitimate concerns raised against the needs of SGBA and its members and be acceptable to SHDC.

On 11th June we received confirmation from SHDC that consent had been approved.

It is now important that members understand what this consent does and does not allow in terms of vehicular access to SGBA premises along the foreshore. By "premises" we mean the clubhouse, dinghy park and the foreshore area above mean high water - extending from Mill Point up to and including the area where the Cove kayak racks are located.

Extracts From The New Planning Consent

(Application Ref: 2192/20/VAR)

Condition 3: The building hereby approved shall only be used by Stoke Gabriel Boating Association and for community groups associated with Stoke Gabriel Parish.
Reason: To safeguard the amenity and character of the surrounding area.

Condition 6: There shall be no vehicular access to the Stoke Gabriel Boating Association premises save for in accordance with the approved Code of Practice and only in the following circumstances:

  1. Vehicular access necessary for the maintenance of, and exceptional deliveries which are not transportable by means other than a motor vehicle due to size, weight or bulk to, any land and/or buildings located within the land shown edged red on the Site Location Plan submitted with this application.
  2. Vehicular access for any persons with disabilities who require access to use the boating facilities made available by the SGBA.
  3. Vehicular access with trailers as may be necessary to move SGBA owned boats which require road trailers.
  4. Vehicular access with trailers as may be necessary to move boats, trailers and/or launching trolleys owned by SGBA members, PROVIDED THAT this access shall only be permitted during a continuous period of 7 days at the beginning of the boating season (March) and a continuous period of 7 days at the end of each boating season (October) such periods to be displayed on SGBA website and the notified in writing to the Parish Council. The said 7-day periods shall be notified by:
    1. 28 February (each year) in respect of the beginning of the boating season.
    2. 31 August (each year) in respect of the end of the boating season.

Reason: To safeguard the amenity, character and biodiversity of the surrounding area.

Condition 7. Any vehicles accessing Stoke Gabriel Boating Association premises via the foreshore shall strictly adhere to the Code of Practice dated 28.4.2021 to manage environmental impact of vehicular access at all times.
Reason: To protect the biodiversity of the foreshore

SGBA Code of Practice

The Code of Practice governing all SGBA vehicle movements referred to above, reads as follows:

Code of Practice to manage environmental impact of vehicular access to Stoke Gabriel Boating Association premises at Mill Point, Stoke Gabriel.

  1. Measures applicable to commercial vehicles accessing for maintenance works and deliveries.
    • Suppliers and Contractors will be advised in advance and in writing, of the following requirements for commercial vehicles accessing for maintenance works and deliveries.
    • An officer of the SGBA will be present to meet commercial vehicles accessing for maintenance works and deliveries.
    • Vehicles will be checked for leaks before accessing the foreshore - no vehicle will enter the foreshore if any leak is identified.
    • Vehicles will have an emergency retrieval system in place that is realistic within the available tidal window in case of breakdown.
    • Vehicles carrying controlled materials or fluids will comply with the relevant legislation and safeguards.
    • Vehicles using hydraulic machinery will use biodegradable hydraulic oil, carry an oil-spill kit and the operator will be trained in its use.
    • Any spills will be reported to the Environment Agency immediately.
    • Vehicles parking for longer than 30mins on the SGBA premises at Mill Point will park over a spills blanket (or equivalent).
    • Vehicles that have visited and entered the foreshore from other marine waterbodies within the last 24hrs (48hrs if wet) must have sprayed down with freshwater and dried before entering Mill Hill (approach road to Stoke Gabriel Quay, car park and foreshore) to avoid biosecurity issues.
  2. Measures applicable to club members
    • Club members may only drive motorised vehicles onto the foreshore where they have been specifically authorised to do so by the Commodore or his deputy.
    • Club members will be specifically advised of this code upon joining and the measures herein will be embodied in the Bylaws of the SGBA and the Bylaws will be updated to reflect any reviews or revisions of this code.
    • Drivers must assure themselves that their vehicle is not leaking any coolant, lubricant, oil or fuel before driving onto the foreshore
    • Drivers should spend minimal time possible on the foreshore and must assure themselves that they and their vehicle can be retrieved before the next high tide in case of breakdown.
    • Vehicles parking for longer than 30mins on the SGBA premises at Mill Point will park over a spills blanket (or equivalent).
    • Any spills will be reported to the Environment Agency immediately.
    • Vehicles that have visited and entered the foreshore from other marine waterbodies within the last 24hrs (48hrs if wet) must have sprayed down with freshwater and dried before entering Mill Hill (approach road to Stoke Gabriel Quay, car park and foreshore) to avoid biosecurity issues.
  3. General measures applying to all vehicles
    • No vehicle shall park unattended on any part of the foreshore or on SGBA land
    • A route identified as "As high as possible on the foreshore and as close as practically possible to the rock face and passing close to parked craft" will be used by all vehicles to minimise environmental impact.
    • Pedestrians shall have absolute priority whilst on the foreshore and there will be a speed limit of 5mph (brisk walking pace)
    • SGBA will erect and maintain signage to articulate this code (subject to permission of landowners)
    • SGBA will provide and maintain 'marina style' trolleys for members' use to avoid / reduce vehicle movements

As you can see, the planning consent and our Code of Practice for vehicle access along the foreshore is very specific.

Summary

In summary there is no member access to the foreshore in vehicles at any time (including the clubhouse, dinghy park and foreshore boat storage areas), except for a period of one week at the beginning of the boating season and one week at the end of the boating season. These weeks, and details of how access will be organised and booked, will be notified to members with reasonable advance notice each year by email, newsletter and via the club website.

Please note that this restriction on vehicle access also applies to contractors or commercial suppliers who may be engaged by members to service, repair, deliver or retrieve boats or equipment or similar activities.

Our guidance to members who wish to move boats or equipment outside of the permitted weeks is to use trolleys/barrows on the foreshore, seek assistance in lifting boats or equipment and/or float boats on the high tide to the slipway at the Village Quay where a vehicle can then be used.

I realise that these restrictions will cause inconvenience to some members, but I trust that you will agree that in reaching agreement with SHDC we have improved on the original planning consent which imposed a blanket ban of vehicle access along the foreshore (and for which SGBA and its members were in breach) and balanced the needs of various stakeholders in the village, and the Dart Estuary area. Not an easy task!

Should you have any questions about this planning consent, please do get in contact.

My best,

Chris Moore,
Commodore - SGBA

Last updated 17:55 on 7 July 2021

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