I read with great interest the reply to my letter by Andy Newell (Facts And Figures For Pier Project, Letters and Opinion, Herne Bay Gazette, December 19). First I acknowledge Mr Newell’s experience of the local sea conditions around Herne Bay. I also have lived in this area since I was four. I have also held an Ocean RYA Yachtmacter’s Certificate for more than 20 years and have sailed the north Kent coast and international waters over the same period of time, gaining a wealth of knowledge as to the local sea conditions. When I was an apprentice civil engineer I was based on site building the Seasalter Seawall defences and the replacement foundations for the electric towers across Seasalter Marshes, 12 years after the great floods in 1953.
In 1974, with my team, I was responsible for designing the first Ramsgate Marina and new lock gate facilities, preparing for the council a long term feasibility study up to the year 2000, as to the growth in the leisure sector of water based activities such as yachting and general boat usage. We forecasted that by the year 2000 the whole of the Royal Harbour would convert to marina facilities. That forecast was correct. As for the design of the proposed Pier Marina, on taking the line of the existing pier-head to the proposed manna the pier points five degrees east off to true North as shown on the published drawings. There are two entrances shown on the design. The south entrance faces south/south east and the north entrance as shown is facing approximately a further 15 degrees to the east totalling 20 degrees east of true north ie right in line with the worst conditions one could expect on this coastline. I note Mr Newell claims his group spent nearly £20,000 on an engineering feasibility study.
I would question whether such an amount was value-for-money. I repeat my previous comments that there is no infrastructure shown for road access, car-parking, workshops or hardstanding lifting facilities for vessels to remove craft from the water for winter storage or repairs and maintenance. Mr Newell, I am currently working on a design for structural breakwaters for the new Marina da Portimao in Portugal to provide protection from Atlantic tidal surges, which have already damaged the marina infrastructure and vessels moored in that marina.
I have worked on harbours and dry dock construction worldwide, developing modern facilities to cope with the larger ships now operating the sea routes of the world. Yes Mr Newell I do have an opinion which is based on practical experience within my field of marine civil engineering, covering most oceans on this planet and I believe this may outweigh your local angling experience!
Alma Road, Herne Bay
Herne Bay Gazette, January 8th 2015