Consultation on Town Quay Mooring Redevelopment Proposals

Consultation on Town Quay Mooring Redevelopment Proposals

Lymington Harbour Commissioners (LHC) would like your views on its proposals to redevelop the Town Quay area to meet the changing market requirements for more walk ashore visitor berths. The proposal to redevelop Town Quay was first incorporated into LHC’s Strategic Plan following extensive public consultation in 2010. The Commissioners believe that it is essential to reconfigure the visitor moorings in order to provide the type of mooring facilities expected by modern yachtsmen, and to maintain the vibrancy of the Town Quay area as a tourist destination.


The Town Quay has historically been a popular area for visiting craft to the harbour. It currently has walk ashore moorings for up to 19 visiting boats (rafted). There are also 97 mid-river moorings which in summer are used for visiting boats and in winter are used to accommodate resident boats that have been relocated from the exposed outer harbour moorings or to accommodate dredging in other parts of the river.

The walk ashore pontoon berths at Town Quay are very popular with visitors and are often full to capacity in the sailing season thus significantly frustrating demand. The current pontoon is also nearing the end of its service life and will need to be replaced within the next few years.

In contrast, the mid-river moorings are not popular and their use has been in decline, (down by 24% since 2011) with the modern boat owner preferring the greater convenience and ease of mooring on walk ashore pontoon berths.

The table below illustrates the difference in popularity of each visitor mooring type at Town Quay in 2015.

Location Town Quay #Non Bookable Walk Ashore (rafting berths) Town Quay **Non Bookable (river moorings)
No Visits 2,364 1,867
Visits per berth 124 32

# Based on a capacity of 19 berths when fully rafted.
** Based on 57 moorings allocated for visitor use in 2015 (the other 40 moorings were allocated for longer term 7 month lets during the summer season)

It can be seen that on average each walk ashore visitor berth (including rafted) is used approximately four times as often as a river mooring.

The popularity of visitor walk ashore berths is further illustrated by the strong growth in visiting boats using LHC’s Dan Bran pontoon.  Although further downstream and a longer walk from the town centre, the convenience of bookable walk ashore berths with power has seen visitor numbers using this facility grow from 747 in 2008 to 2,344 by 2015. Yarmouth Harbour who have implemented a phased plan to introduce more walk ashore visitor berths have seen their visitor numbers increase from 21,199 to 33,828 stays over the last 6 years, an increase of nearly 60%1.

LHC’s 2011-2015 strategic plan set out an objective to increase visitor walk ashore berths at Town Quay. In 2015, as part of its consultation on an update to the strategic plan, LHC brought forward a plan for the reorganisation of Town Quay moorings to provide more walk ashore visitor berths. Although there was broad support from leisure users and local businesses, some concerns were expressed about the proposed location of the commercial boat moorings, the navigation turning space opposite the commercial quay and the alignment of some berths to the tide.

The Commissioners have taken time to consider the feedback received and have made a number of changes to the original proposals.

The Commissioners have also obtained an independent risk assessment2 of the proposals which concluded that they will provide an improvement in safety and a reduction in risk over the present arrangements. To inform the risk assessment, LHC commissioned current flow monitoring3 over some of the biggest spring tides of the year to support the long term monitoring previously undertaken on behalf of the Environment Agency4. This demonstrated that current flows in the Town Quay area are low for the vast majority of the time with flows measured at under 0.6 knot for 99.2% of the Environment Agency 549 day monitoring period in a location where flows were expected to be strongest.

1 Source – Yarmouth Harbour Annual Reports 2009 to 2015
2 Copthorne Consulting – April 2016
3 Shoreline Surveys – April 2016
4 EMU for EA – Feb 2012

New Proposal

The Commissioners now wish to consult on the revised proposal which is shown on the plan entitled ‘Proposed Mooring Layout’ below. A plan showing the existing mooring layout is also shown.

The new proposals will:

  • – Respond to the changing market demand for visitor walk ashore berths thus ensuring that the Town Quay area continues to be a vibrant and successful tourist destination.
  • – Still offer a choice between visitor walk ashore berths with power and water and river moorings.
  • – Offer the unique prospect of holding major events at Town Quay that will appeal to event participants, local businesses, and local people. In recent years there have been enquiries from prospective event organisers who will only consider bringing their event to Lymington if it can be hosted with participants berthed together on walk ashore berths at Town Quay. This was because of its proximity to the town centre, unique atmosphere and the ability to have local community participation in a waterfront location.
  • – Increase the number of visits to local shops, restaurants, pubs and the Saturday market.
  • – Improve safety by (amongst other things) widening the navigation fairway and enlarging the turning space opposite the commercial quay.
  • – Allow LHC to continue to ‘flex’ use of visitor moorings based on changing seasonal demand. In the summer months when visitor numbers are at their highest, moorings will be used to meet visitor demand. As at present, during winter months when visitor demand is low, most moorings will be used to accommodate resident boats that need to be relocated from the exposed lower river moorings or which have been displaced from their normal mooring to facilitate maintenance dredging. At times where mooring occupancy is forecast to be below capacity, the Commissioners will continue to offer temporary sublets with priority given to local residents waiting for a mooring.
  • – Release visitor dinghy tender berths (not so many needed if a greater proportion of visitor moorings are walk ashore) for resident berth holders on the waiting list for a tender in the Town Quay area.
  • – Relocate the 17 resident commercial fishing boat berths upstream to pontoons located on the southern (downstream) side of the railway bridge. This is in line with the feedback received from fishermen and will better separate commercial boat movements from leisure use.
  • – Relocate 43 resident small boat leisure berths to a new finger pontoon (25) or fore and aft moorings (18) located to the east of the railway bridge on the north side of the river.
  • – Relocate the commercial boat landing to be closer to the slipway thereby giving better visibility to potential customers of the services offered. The commercial landing will also be lengthened to accommodate two boats at the same time.

The table below summarises the proposed changes

Town Quay & Visitor Area – Existing v Proposed Comparison
Mooring Type Existing No. Proposed No.
Total visitors/multi-purpose* Walk Ashore Pontoon
(rafted – max 4 out)

(23 rafted – max 2 out)

(20 bookable finger berths)

(6 small boat/RIB berths)

(2 alongside short stay berths)

Total visitors/multi-purpose* Mid-river moorings 97 36
Total ‘resident’ Mid-river moorings
43 (mid-river moorings)

(18 mid-river moorings)

(25 mid-river pontoon finger berths)

Total ‘resident’ commercial boat berths (Mid-river pontoon) 17 17
Commercial Users Pick Up/Drop Off Landing (Walk Ashore) 1 2

* Multi-purpose moorings are used for visitors in the summer. Over the winter, when visitor demand is much lower, most are used to relocate ‘resident’ boats from the exposed lower reaches of the river and from areas being dredged. They can also be used to provide temporary seasonal moorings (with priority going to local residents) at times when surplus capacity is available

Consultation Process

The eight week consultation period commences on Monday 1st August and ends on Sunday 25th September 2016.

If you would like to talk through any aspect of the proposals, the Commissioners will be holding two half day ‘drop in’ sessions in the Robert Hole Room, Lymington Community Centre on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd September between 15.00 and 19.00 hours.

To comment on the above proposals please click HERE and
complete the feedback form.

Alternatively you can write to Lymington Harbour Commissioners, Harbour Office, Bath Road, Lymington, SO41 3SE. Please note when making comments you must include your full details. Anonymous representations will not be considered.

At the conclusion of the public consultation, the Commissioners will take stock of the feedback received before finalising its plans.

Appointment of Harbour Commissioner

The Commissioners are seeking to appoint a new Harbour Commissioner to start on the 1st November, 2016.

The harbour is currently in an exciting and challenging phase of its development and the Commissioners will play an important part in shaping the future of the harbour and the services it provides.

Further details and an application form are available here.


 Lift & Scrub Offer!

Berthon’s summer special offer for ‘lift and scrub’ is running from 25th July to 31st August. They are offering 33% off their standard rate of £8.00 per ft + VAT, so just £5.33 per ft + VAT. The offer includes collection and return of your craft from any Lymington River marina berths, pontoons or moorings and a visual check and report of the hull’s condition.

Terms and conditions apply, see the Berthon site for more information.

Contact Lymington Harbour
[email protected]

01590 672014

(Please right click any image in the left column to retrieve high res version.)