A leading councillor warned marinas should come with a health
warning. Former Whitstable Harbour Board chairman Cllr Michael Dixey
said marinas across the country were not servicing their debt and could
only happen with massive enabling development such as housing. But the
Herne Bay Pier Trust believe its £70 million scheme to build a marina
around the old pier head could become a reality and have enlisted a team
of industry experts to help.
Pier Trust bosses denied 2012 had been a “troubled” year and insisted next year was going to be fantastic. New chairman Doreen Stone told members at the annual meeting that trustees were feeling very positive about the future.
She said trustees were united in the view that the pier platform
should be developed as a short-term project and that long-term the pier
should be rebuilt.
But she said the trustees were feisty and often “squabbled.” Mrs Stone, who breeds chickens at her free-holding in
“We have had some really lively debates. I don’t call
that troubled, I call that healthy. We are thoroughly united, thoroughly tough. We want to reflect the views of Herne Bay with regards to the pier.”
But several trustees stepped down over the year, including chairman Julian Jennings and vice-chairman Andrea Leach. The losses were highlighted by former trustee Michael Khoury, who
said it meant the council – which has two councillors on the board –
had more power. The other four board members are independent. Businessman Mr Khoury who runs seafront amusements, warned:
can’t operate like this. You cannot have the council running the show.”
Trustees want to recruit more experts to the board. Anyone
interested should apply to the trust’s yellow-painted gallery in Central
Parade. A special meeting will be held to consider applications and elect them.
In a letter to the Herne Bay Times, Mr Leach said the trust had
the plans and vision to take over the pier with private investment. He said:
“I believe that over the last three years I have
expended a lot of passion, energy and resource personally to ensure the
Trust has a presence and voice set against a challenging economic and
political background. For the past year I have concentrated my personal efforts on
identifying international and world-class partners and potential
investors who would invest and support the rebuilding of the Pier.”
He said trustees and members were working tirelessly on their
plans and that he had identified individuals and businesses potentially
interested in investing.
Herne Bay Times 10th Dec 2012