Public Consultation

Consultation on plans to develop the Harbour Office jetty and shore-based facilities at Itchenor has now closed. The consultation ran for 6 weeks from Wednesday 6th April to 5pm on Wednesday 18th May 2022.

The results of the consultation, and analysis of the responses, can be viewed here.

  1. Introduction

  2. Safety in Tenders

  3. Current Facilities

  4. Proposed Development

  5. Navigational Risk Assessment

  6. Bathymetric Survey

  7. Tidal Flow Survey

  8. Landscape and Visual Appraisal

  9. Environmental Impact Issues

  10. The Future of Boating

  11. The Harbour Office

  12. Waste Management


Chichester Harbour Conservancy (CHC) is the Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) for Chichester Harbour, established under the ‘Chichester Harbour Conservancy Act, 1971’. It has a primary function to maintain and improve facilities for vessels. Chichester Harbour is home to a large recreational fleet, with a residential fleet of approximately 11,500 leisure vessels using the harbour and its marine facilities. There are 14 sailing clubs, six principal marinas and around 3,200 Harbour Authority licenced mooring points and 2,000 marina berths.

Itchenor is a significant focal point within the harbour, with pontoon access at all states of the tide for those needing to moor and walk ashore. Arrangements could be greatly improved to provide increased walk ashore berthing capacity by extending the pontoon footprint in association with shoreside amenity improvements. This would increase convenience and safety and enable the infrastructure for increased electric charging to facilitate sustainable boating.

In tandem with the jetty development improvements would be made to the Harbour Office increasing the reception area, improvements to the shower facilities, as well as a regime of work to reduce its carbon footprint and measures to increase resilience to flooding.

Safety in Tenders

Use of tenders has long been identified as a high-risk activity within the harbour. Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester Harbour have all seen fatalities occur from this activity in the past, and the capsize of small craft occur relatively frequently. In the past 5 years, 12 'near-miss' incidents have been recorded in Chichester Harbour involving persons overboard from a tender. While we continue with our safety campaigns regarding safety in tenders, and our patrol team are pro-active in responding, we are concerned that where risks are not adequately controlled, and near misses continue to occur, the likelihood of more severe consequences will increase.

The proposed development of the pontoon aims to reduce the likelihood of this type of incident by providing walk ashore berthing for visitors. Specifically, the pontoon will reduce the need for users to access their vessels from tenders, especially during hours of darkness by providing overnight berthing.

The proposals also seek to create a greater area of unimpeded water in the vicinity of the launching hard and jetty by reducing the number of moorings. Taken together with the new jetty arrangements at Itchenor Sailing Club, recently approved, they are a quantum improvement to the facilities and access for vessels in Itchenor.

Current Facilities

The current jetty at Itchenor is a single, shore accessed jetty, that extends approximately 115 metres from Mean High Water and terminates in a 'T-Head' jetty comprised of a 46m length of floating pontoon, situated approximately along the 1 metre depth contour. The jetty provides 'touch and go' access for vessels, an operational berth for the Itchenor Ferry, berthing for Harbour Master craft and some local marine business vessel berths. Over the winter months, the Selsey fishing fleet take shelter and use Itchenor as a base for their operations. Waste facilities, fresh water supply and waste pump-out are also available.

During the sailing season (April to October), the jetty sees constant and heavy use from charter fishing and trip vessels, locally berthed mooring holders, visiting vessels and vessel traffic launching from the Itchenor Hard slipway.

For further information, please see the Navigational Risk Assessment - Sections 3.2: Navigational Environment and 3.3: Marine Traffic Analysis.

The Itchenor Reach contains 656 moorings. The large volumes of vessel traffic through the area results in considerable congestion at times. This congestion is compounded by a busy launching hard, a jetty in constant use, and visitor moorings.

The image below shows the current mooring plot in the immediate area surrounding the jetty.

Proposed Development

A new 100 metre section of outer pontoon, extending a further 7 metres into the channel, is planned to enhance the utility of the existing facility. It will provide a greater length of ‘touch and go’ berthing for harbour users during the day and dedicated walk-ashore berthing for visitors during overnight stays. Short-stay, daytime berthing will provide safe areas for visitors and mooring holders to leave vessels while visiting the Harbour Office and local amenities such as the boatyards, Sailing Club, restaurants and road access to Chichester. The existing inner pontoon will be shortened for use as berthing for Harbour Authority vessels and the Itchenor Ferry. The inner pontoon will also provide a safe place for ferry passengers to wait, away from the vessel movements on the outer pontoon. The existing small craft berthing for local marine businesses will also remain in place. The waste pump out facility will re-locate to the new outer pontoon and will remain free to use and accessible 24 hours a day. Increased waste disposal facilities, including recycling and International Catering Waste will also be provided.

For further information, please see the Navigational Risk Assessment - Section 4: Proposed Development and Consultation.

To enable the pontoon improvements there will be a reduction in the number of visitor moorings and a reorganisation of the moorings in the surrounding area. This will provide more open water to ease vessel congestion and assist safe navigation through the study area.

The proposed arrangement will provide two visitor moorings opposite the newly extended pontoon. This maintains two access gaps on either side of the visitor moorings for other craft to transit the area. The proposed moorings will be arranged to provide a clear navigation route running parallel to the newly extended pontoon. The overall area occupied by the proposed mooring plan totals around 22,866 m², representing an overall gain of 8,828m² (or approx 27% more) clear water.

The current jetty connects to the shore slightly above the level of Mean High Water Springs. Consequently, on many high tides there is no 'dry foot' access and this places limitations on persons accessing vessels, especially for persons requiring disabled access. Sea levels have risen faster over the last hundred years than any time in the last 3,000 years. This acceleration is expected to continue with a further 15-25cm of sea level rise expected by 2050.

To address the medium-term access issues, it is proposed to build a raised landing section with a hinged ramp connecting to the jetty, which will be canted to the east. This will facilitate dry foot access, even over high spring tides.  It will also free up an area of developed intertidal land which can be returned to nature. 

Navigational Risk Assessment

A full Navigational Risk Assessment has been undertaken by maritime consultants ABPmer. The Summary states:

"This NRA considers the marine risks created through the construction and operational phases of the proposed Itchenor pontoon project. The NRA has identified eight hazard scenarios - five in the construction phase and three in the operational phase of the proposed scheme. The NRA has considered each scenario, applying risk controls currently employed by the harbour authority and those proposed in the scheme design.

Further applicable mitigation controls have then been considered, as appropriate, by the study team using consultation and feedback from harbour users. The reorganisation of swinging moorings to maximise navigational room alongside the pontoon extension has been included as a future mitigation.

Existing risk controls, plus future mitigation, were applied to each hazard scenario, and the resultant navigational risk evaluated. Following the completion of this process it is concluded that the navigational risk associated with the proposed development is ALARP (As Low As Reasonably Practicable)."

The full Navigational Risk Assessment can be viewed here.

Bathymetric Survey

To ensure the correct placement of the proposed jetty, a bathymetric survey of the area surrounding the jetty was conducted on 18 February 2021. This enabled the jetty to be sited alongside the 2 metre depth contour, allowing deeper keeled vessels to berth along the jetty over most low tides.

Tidal Flow Survey

As part of the Navigational Risk Assessment, a Tidal Flow Survey was conducted on 03 December 2021, on the ebb of a 110% Spring Tide. The survey found that:

"The maximum speed at the location of the pontoon extension was recorded at circa 1.8 knots, at a depth of 0.5 m. This was recorded 3.5 hours after high water. The corresponding speed at the existing pontoon for the same depth of 0.5 m was also circa 1.8 knots. At most, the tidal flow survey identified a maximum difference increase of 0.2 knots between the existing and proposed pontoon locations. Depending on the speed of the vessel (assumed 4 knots for a small dinghy) for a distance of 230 m, the new transit route in faster tidal flow would equate to an approximate addition of one minute extra travel time. This change does not present a safety risk and is therefore not mitigated."

For further information, please see the Navigational Risk Assessment - Sections 5.6: Additional (future) risk controls and Appendix C: Tidal Flow Speed.

Landscape and Visual Appraisal

A Landscape and Visual Appraisal has been conducted by David Hares Landscape Architecture. The report considers potential landscape and visual effects of proposals to extend the existing public jetty at Itchenor, West Sussex. The aim of the report is to provide an assessment of the potential landscape and visual effects of the proposed works upon the receiving landscape in line with current legislation and guidance. It comprises of two parts, the first, an assessment of the effects on landscape character, and the second for visual effects.

The appraisal concludes:

"The proposed new pontoon at the Harbour Conservancy's Itchenor jetty, has been assessed in the light of planning policy requirements to address potential concerns regarding landscape and visual effects. The overall extent and scale of adverse landscape and visual effects are considered to be of a low to negligible level of significance.

Our study has therefore concluded that the proposals as described are both consistent with current planning policy and the aims and objectives of AONB designation."

The full appraisal can be read here.

Environmental Impact Issues

A full Environmental Impact survey will take place prior to the appropriate permissions being sought for the development.

Please click here to view a preliminary Environmental Impact Issues Statement.

The Future of Boating

With the challenges of climate change, electric vehicles are now becoming commonplace, and it is highly likely that there will be a similar shift for vessels.

Many vessel manufacturers are already bringing electric boats to the market, and many boat owners are already looking to make the change as the ability to convert vessels becomes an affordable option. Through discussions with vessel owners in Chichester Harbour, we know that some people have already made this change, and many more people are hoping to do so in the near future.

Chichester Harbour Conservancy has been operating an electric vessel, the solar powered Solar Heritage, for almost 20 years. Over time, the systems have been upgraded and improved as new technology reaches the market. For the first time, we are now converting an existing vessel, the motor launch EMS, from an in-board diesel engine to an electric motor powered by an on-board battery bank.

When planning the new jetty, great consideration has been given to make sure that we are facilitating the shift to electric propulsion in vessels.

A significantly upgraded power installation on the jetty will provide the infrastructure to provide visiting vessels with access to traditional shore-power outlets. In addition, 16amp charging outlets will also be available for vessels to plug-in and re-charge.

It is proposed that a number of tenders, with electric outboards, will be provided by The Conservancy for the use of mooring holders. These tenders will be berthed on the inside of the new jetty in a dedicated and sheltered berthing area, away from larger vessel traffic.

The provision of tenders at the jetty will reduce the requirement for people to keep their own tenders on the chain facilities at Itchenor, freeing up space on the hard at Itchenor and providing a safer area for the launching of kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

The Harbour Office

Over the years, the Harbour Office at Itchenor has been a focal point for boaters, residents, and visitor. From its days as a private residence, to its use as a police station, and its current role as the Harbour Office and main base of operations for Chichester Harbour Conservancy, its many reincarnations have not left the best facilities for engaging with Harbour and AONB users.

Alongside the development of the jetty, it is proposed to make some changes to the internal layout of the Harbour Office, to further improve facilities and increase engagement.

The plan below shows the current layout of the Harbour Office ground floor. A small reception area is the only space available for customers and the public to engage with Conservancy staff face-to-face, and small, out-dated shower facilities provide little comfort to visiting boaters and mooring holders alike.

By removing the internal wall between the reception and the adjoining office, a large and open room will be created. This bigger area will provide space for customers to meet with Conservancy staff, access improved information and interpretation services regarding the harbour and surrounding area, find out about and make bookings for boat trips and organised events, and gather information on local and harbour wide facilities.

An increased number of re-furbished and disabled access shower/WC facilities will make much needed improvements to the facilities for visiting boaters. A high water access path will be created around the side of the building, inside the existing walled area, helping to provide further dry foot access to the new jetty and shoreline footpath. An area is also planned to increase the capacity for landed waste and recycling disposal.

As part of the refurbishment the Harbour Office will be made more resilient to flooding and the building insulated internally to minimise carbon emissions. 

The Harbour Office improvements are integral to the success of the Jetty project and will see significant steps towards carbon neutrality, flood resilience, better facilities for mooring customers, better point of contact with wider users of the Harbour and AONB, and enhance the experience for Solar Heritage passengers, and visiting yachtsmen.

The proposed internal changes to the ground floor of the Harbour Office are shown below.

Waste Management

Facilities for yachtsmen's landed waste are provided at all main landing points around the harbour. Chichester Harbour Conservancy maintains a Maritime and Coastguard Agency approved Port Waste Management Plan (PWMP) on behalf of all the marinas, boatyards and sailing clubs within the harbour that provide mooring facilities for vessels that go to sea.

Currently, the waste area at Itchenor is located immediately adjacent to the Haines slipway at the jetty head. The planned change to the jetty head (see Proposed Development) will encroach on access to the slipway from Haines Boatyard, and to maintain a similar width of access for the manoeuvring of vehicles and trailered vessels, the waste area needs to be relocated.

As space around the Harbour Office is very limited, there are two options currently under consideration.

Option One is to move the waste area to the opposite side of the viewing platform, in front of the Harbour Office, as shown in the image below. By installing a concrete pad, surrounded by a wooden fence and gate, an area can be created that will include waste, recycling, and waste oil disposal units.

Option Two is to keep a single waste and a single recycling bin in a fenced area within the central bay of the Harbour Office parking area, as indicated below. The remainder of the bins will be kept in a small compound in the car park. These bins will be padlocked while in this compound, to prevent the illegal dumping of waste, and will be brought down to the Harbour Office by Conservancy staff as the two on site become full.


Back to top