County promise marina money will not be ‘lost’

The  marina site at Sutton Bridge looking towards Cross Keys Bridge and the power station. SG240913-247TW
The marina site at Sutton Bridge looking towards Cross Keys Bridge and the power station. SG240913-247TW

A legal wrangle over compulsory purchasing riverbank land at Sutton Bridge will not result in the village losing more than a quarter of a million in Section 106 cash.

The county council is promising that £267,000 from the power station fund earmarked for the marina will be diverted to other projects in the village if it cannot be spent by the 2015 deadline.

Parish council vice chairman Michael Booth is worried it will take “light years” to deliver the marina if landowners appeal against the compulsory purchase orders – and Sutton Bridge could lose the Section 106 cash because it must go back to the power station if it’s unspent by 2015.

Council head of regeneration Paul Wheatley said: “A reasonable period of time remains in which to commit the Section 106 monies and we are confident that the issues with the marina should be sorted out before the Section 106 deadline looms too large.

“We are mindful however that the Section 106 money belongs to the community of Sutton Bridge and must not be lost.

“We are currently talking to a number of local groups to develop alternative investment plans in the event that it appears the marina will not be unlocked in time.”

The county says the £915,000 marina will bring economic spin-offs worth £200,000 a year and thousands of visitors.

The marina is to be managed by Nene Marine Community Interest Company and profits will be used for the benefit of Sutton Bridge.

Jenny Rowe, from Nene Marine, say the 80 berth marina is already three-quarters full and “it won’t take five minutes to put the moorings in” as the pontoons are ready and waiting at Wisbech.