Thursday, February 16, 2017

Equivalent of 1,500 lorry loads of harbour silt and mud to become “beach nourishment” ?

The Gurn has seen correspondence between the Angling Association and Marine Scotland concerning aspects of the dredging proposed for Nairn Harbour  by Highland Council. In an e-mail the anglers state that they:

“hope that the works are not going ahead within our fishing season which is 4th March until 7th October. The date that it was being done previously, was October 2016 but it never went ahead for some reason.”

They were also concerned that if a dam were put across the harbour mouth and the water pumped out into the river that this would affect water quality in the river. They are also worried that sediment would be dumped in the sea at the harbour mouth and think it better if it were removed by lorry to landfill.

Here's what Marine Scotland had to say to them:

“Just for clarity, Marine Scotland are the regulator who issue marine licences for dredging works, the applicant in this case is Highland Council Harbours.  The comments you have provided will help to inform our licensing decision.

The applicant has amended the method of dredging to cutter suction with the disposal of sediment on the beach for beach replenishment. No cofferdam will be used during the proposed dredging works. In light of this, could you please refer to the attached application form and provide any additional comments you have regarding this method by Wednesday the 22nd of February 2017.

The applicant has submitted a Best Practicable Environmental Option (BPEO) in support of the marine licence application, which identified that in order to transport the dredging arising to landfill, 1500 lorry loads would be required.  As such, Marine Scotland is content that this is not the most practicable option for disposal of the sediment and instead agree with the conclusions of the BPEO which has identified beach nourishment as the best option. 

Many thanks in advance”

The Gurn has also seen the copy of the application signed by the  Highland Council's Marine Superintendent Dave Sneddon.  A project title field states: “Management of Nairn Harbour basin, within statutory harbour limits. Maintenance involving dredging and relocation of accumulated material.” 

The type of vessel to be used: “Small cutter suction dredger, the dredging’s are pumped from the dredger to the beach via a pipeline which can be up to 2km long.” 

The physical composition of the material to be moved is given as “Soft wet silt and mud” and the name of the  disposal site is given as “Beach Disposal 25metres west off the  West Breakwater at Nairn. Between MHWS and MLWS.” A series of co-ordinates are also given

57° 35’ 33” N 003° 51’ 40” W
57° 35’ 30” N 003° 51’ 50” W
57° 35’ 33” N 003° 51’ 52” W
57° 35’ 36” N 003° 51’ 40” W Area 18,669 m²

We put the top one into Google Maps and got this result here – looks like a lot of silt and mud is going to be placed close to the West Pier for time and tide to deal with.


J R Hartely said...

I'm surprised that the angling club aren't keeping their head's below the parapet at the moment ...given that it would appear that they are going to cost the common good fund some 1.6 million pounds over the next 176 years.....

Joe Telfer said...

I had a look at the various options that were for view in the Nairn service point a while back. This option is the cheapest with a budget of £50,000. The other options like removal by lorry are much more expensive, and would cause major disturbance with wet smelly silt dripping all over the town.
Suction over the harbour car park means a lot of smelly silt which will get spread along the west beach by the tides. Just hope they don't dig another hole at the basin entrance. Just means that shingle will be pulled down the river again with the first spate !

D.Ross said...

I think you will find that the co-ordinates are the four corners of an area covering 18,669m2 in which they are allowed to dump the dredge material. I have put this on my mapping & it is the area from the west pier to where the Sundancer starts, & between high & low tides.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Material is dredged out at great expense and then left nearby so that eventually it'll dry out and blow back into the harbour

Anonymous said...

Oh, great, and I bet this will be done peak holiday time! Still the camper van complainers will be happy as this should keep the camper vans away from the harbour.

cradlehall said...

It is such a waste of £50,000 to dump the dredged silt by the pier simply for it to be washed back into the harbour again. This is uneconomic, inefficient and ineffective.

Harbour due said...

The real reason behind the dredging of the harbour is to make more money for Highland Council, as once the tonnes of silt and other material have been removed they will be able to put more pontoons in place and offer more berths. The fact that current harbour users have limited use of the facility due to silting seems to matter little as the request for HC to do something about this problem has been with them for years. The harbour is a useful cash cow. Most years harbour dues rise way above inflation and there's a healthy waiting list.

The fact that dredged material may only be taken a few yards is neither here nor there as long as HC can fit new boats into the space. As long as the fees keep rolling in that's all that matters

For the town itself it provides an important tourist attraction but one that HC doesn't want to invest in. If the harbour had better facilities we might see more visiting vessels and income for the town. At other nearby harbours there's both electric and water on the pontoons, and others have the likes of washing machines and showers on offer

There's also the issue of the East pier that's slowly crumbling into the sea; lack of repairs could see the closure of the harbour. Maybe that'd be a good thing then the whole of the lower river could become a wildlife sanctuary!

Graisg said...

Hi Harbour Dues. The Harbour working group are presenting their holistic vision for the entire harbour area on Monday at the Nairnshire Committee - maybe they might have something to say that might cheer you up a bit? They are seeking cash big time to get a few things sorted down by we believe.

Harbour due said...

@ Graisg

And for those of us that live in the real world (admittedly not many left) 'holistic' = fantasy, yes a vision but it's not going to be a reality in the foreseeable economic future, unless maybe they could paint the rusty bollards if they crowd source for funding?

fantasy world non believer said...

Given the fact that one lorry can transport 40T+ this would create 60.000 ton if my recoining is right.
{but i am sure some one will correct me}?
But using my figures of SIXTY THOUSAND TON ON THE beach will be a BIG ATTRACTION and create the foot fall they are looking for?? and be A huge asset to the TOWN?.
WELL you can full some of the people some of the time but not all the people any of the time?
What is the advantage of dredging the basin if the river is still going to be tidal?
AND if the cruse ships are going to be docking that will have to be considered.
Joe has A point but I don't think we will have to wait for a spate I am sure your readers have tried to dig A hole on the beach if not I can assure them it fills in as fast as you dig it out
But lets not distillation them that think is is A brilliant idea to spend this type of money.
Some one is going to benefit but who is another question to be asked.