Autumn start on £915,000 marina

MARINA SITE: Pleasure moorings will go along this stretch of the Nene at Sutton Bridge. SG240913-247TW
MARINA SITE: Pleasure moorings will go along this stretch of the Nene at Sutton Bridge. SG240913-247TW
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County council bosses plan an autumn start on a £915,000 pleasure marina at Sutton Bridge.

But there’s no chance of the council raising the height of a riverbank as part of the project, as community leaders would like, to help guard against flooding.

Sutton Bridge came within two inches of disaster on December 5 when a tidal surge – bigger than that of the 1953 floods – swept up the River Nene.

The surge threatened to overtop riverbanks, but there was only minor flooding as river water cascaded out through a drain in the street.

The county council suffered a funding blow earlier this year when it lost £375,000 in European cash earmarked for the marina because it could not be spent by the March 31 deadline.

But it reapplied for cash and now the scheme is back on track.

Coun Colin Davie, county executive member for economic development, said: “We’re confident that all issues have now been resolved so that the scheme can go ahead.

“We’re now working up a detailed programme for the works and are hoping to begin in the autumn.

“The marina will act as a gateway to the county, and we want to make it as attractive to visitors as possible.

“This will provide a significant boost to the local economy, something that will benefit businesses and residents alike.”

Sutton Bridge Parish Council learned on Tuesday that the scheme will go ahead within months.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood wanted to know if the marina would affect the village’s chances of getting the riverbanks raised – or if the county council could raise the riverbank alongside the marina while it was doing the work.

But Coun Davie told the Spalding Guardian: “We don’t have permission to raise the bank, and this could only be done with the agreement of the Environment Agency (EA).

“The costs are also beyond the scope of this project. However, the design of the marina means that, if the EA did decide to pursue this, it would be an easier task.”

The proposed 80 pleasure moorings are being reduced to a so far unknown level while some commercial moorings will be introduced.

Part of the cost will be met by £267,000 in section 106 money from the power station fund.