With the proposed new Centre for the Community at Kingsbridge; the general feeling of increased civic/community pride and engagement; and the Town Council´s aspiration to improve the waterfront area (currently wasted in my opinion on a car park which provides an evening racetrack for the K-Town Cruisers and the world´s most inappropriately positioned public conveniences!), would Forum members support the provision of a Tidal Lock at the Kingsbridge Basin?
This offers a variety of opportunities:
it would greatly enhance the area; encourage increased visitor numbers and their associated spend; and develop Kingsbridge as a destination in its own right; (forgive me for stating a personal interest here but even though we keep our boats in Salcombe, I am firmly of the view that there is very much more to the estuary than just the Harbour - it really does stretch all the way up to Kingsbridge - and I am delighted to see that during my membership of SKEA there has been an increasing acceptance of this fact; when I first joined you could be forgiven for thinking that the two ends were in no way conected or at the very least there was an iceberg somewhere off Gerston, the attitude towards Kingsbridge was so frosty!);
it could provide a safe leisure amenity for the town´s youth (offering kayaking or sailing training within the Basin - there are both individuals and organisations who may well be prepared to assist with this as a community initiative);
it could provide a small yacht haven which would relieve pressure on Salcombe Harbour and perhaps remove the periodic calls for some form of marina (which would of course destroy the unique charm of Salcombe);
facilities for visiting yachtsmen could be provided at the Kingsbridge end without impinging on Salcombe (and may perhaps encourage a return of some of the lost visitors attributed to lack of facilities - it is hardly a major exercise to carry on up to Kingsbridge for essential services during one´s stay in the estuary!)
it would improve safety and security in the waterfront area - if there are boats moored or users on the water, there are eyes watching;
it could provide some form of protection in the event of climate change influenced tidal events (Kingsbridge is a vulnerable coastal community);
it could actually ensure continued accessibility to Kingsbridge by water as without significant dredging this is likely to be lost in the not-too-distant future and there is insufficient funding available on an ongoing basis within the Harbour budget for the level of activities required;
it could provide pedestrian access from the residential areas on one side to the leisure and community centre facilities on the other;
by siting it at the Kingsbridge end, there is not the same level of potentially prejudicial impact on the marine enviroment as Salcombe and as it is intended to be tidal, the problems of permanently locked water are removed;
I do not pretend that there are no problems with such a scheme but as an advocate for it, I am confing myself to the positives! However I would be interested to know the general feeling amongst the Forum members.