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Pontoon Access Project

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Published 11:24 on 3 Aug 2020


Members of the SGBA might be aware of the 'Section 106' scheme whereby housing developers are required to contribute a portion of their potential profits in to the community which suffers the disruption and consequences of the development.

The builders of the King's Orchard estate, Cavanna Homes, are due to pay more than £90,000 as their S.106 contribution, within weeks. South Hams District Council has decided that this is, for the most part, to be shared between the village's sports clubs. SGBA has been allocated £30,250 for the project described below. (This is not yet a definite grant, as several hurdles have to be jumped, such as local planning permission and possibly licencing by other interested authorities).

The purpose of the project is to create an access to the DHNA's Mill Point pontoon that can be used at all states of the tide. At present the pontoon is not accessible from shore during the two hours or so either side of high water. The DHNA pontoon has been found to be a great asset to the SGBA, not least for securing dinghies and other craft alongside when activity levels are high, such as when we are running training courses. The project will see the installation of a marina-type gangway, 15 metres long, between a solid foundation at Mill Point and a small landing stage permanently moored in the river. The DHNA pontoon will be secured to the landing stage. In time, subject to DHNA funding, the current pontoon will be replaced by a permanent one, constructed to marina standards. (We are especially grateful for the support expressed Captain Cooper, the Harbourmaster, when we bid for the grant for this project). The SGBA will own the gangway and landing stage, DHNA will own the pontoon.

The club will benefit hugely from this which is why the SGBA Trustees have approved a contribution of £5,000 from club funds. But so too will other users of the river, who will more easily be able to land at Mill Point in order to visit the village and maybe taste its delights. More than this, a permanent, more robust, pontoon, will increase the chances of the restoration of a small-boat ferry service each summer, between Stoke and Dittisham maybe even to Totnes and Dartmouth. This could, incidentally, relieve the village of some of the motor traffic and parking burden which we increasingly experience.

Once again the SGBA has deployed its efforts to improve facilities in our community. Let's hope all the hurdles will be overcome and our Pontoon Access Project will indeed come to fruition ideally in time for our 2021 summer season.

Last updated 12:21 on 24 August 2020

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