02 February 2012

Ship scrapping industry coming to historic dock:

APPLEDORE'S historic Richmond Dock is to be put back to use for scrapping ships.

The move comes after controversial proposals to build homes on the site were rejected last year.

The news emerged at a meeting of the Bideford Harbour Board Working Group last week. The meeting at Bideford Town Hall heard a five-year-lease has been secured by FTD Marine to use the dock to scrap ships.

The company, from Cooper Street, Bideford, will lease the dock from owner Simon Maunder.

FTD Marine's Gareth Evans, said work to clean up the dock would begin soon.

Mr Maunder had previously wanted to convert the grade two listed dock into 24 flats, a post office, shop and café.

The multi-million pound housing development was rejected by Torridge District Council and again on appeal in August 2011.

The dock, constructed in 1859, once played a major role in the shipping industry for Appledore.

Vice-chairman of the harbour board working group, Councillor Peter Christie, said: "The luxury flats were initially rejected in the hope that Richmond Dock would one day become a working dock again.

"It will be great for industry to get the dock up and running again and will provide jobs for local people.

"It is very interesting that in the 19th century the dock was used for scrapping down ships and will once again be used for the purpose it was built for.

"This is not a new industry and it is fantastic that it will be restored." 

The meeting was told the dock would be used for dismantling boats  recks for resources such as steel.

Appledore resident Terry Bailey, 57, a telephone engineer, said: "I think it is great. Ship building has been the heart of the village and it is great news that industry will be brought back to Appledore.

"Some residents will not like the change. But they must remember that Appledore was always a working dock until the early 1980s and we have always pushed to return it back to industry."

Mr Bailey, who has run historical tours of the dock since its 150th birthday in 2006, said: "The MS Oldenburg for Lundy Island currently has to dry dock in Penzance or Gloucester because there are no other dry docks in Devon.

"By opening the dock up for work again this alone will generate income and jobs for Appledore."

However in the town hall's public gallery some residents were less enthusiastic.
One said: "Imagine the noise of scrapping down ships.

"They will make as much noise as they can until we give in to what Mr Maunder wants."

Source: North Devon Journal. 2 February 2012

No comments: