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20.03.08
Extension to Environmental Impact Assessment announced

An extension to the duration of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) into the feasibility of dredging a deeper approach channel to Falmouth Docks important for accommodating bigger cruise liners has been announced.

The £410,000 EIA project has investment from the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA) and the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Work commenced last March and a number of field studies have been completed with substantial modelling exercises looking at any possible changes in water and sediment quality, waves and tidal flows.

The design of the channel has also been reviewed to ensure that the channel will be safe to navigate yet minimises the amount of dredging required.

The strategic project has been driven by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners and A&P Falmouth Limited and would see many more cruise liners, up to 340 metres long, berthed alongside the Docks, bringing significant economic benefits to Falmouth and Cornwall while promoting sustainable tourism.

Falmouth Harbour Commissioners' Chief Executive, Captain Mark Sansom, comments: "This is important work and the assessment exercises have to take a wide range of issues into consideration, especially those raised during our consultations." The Assessment was due to complete in March but due to additional requirements resulting from the work carried out so far will now not be completed until July.

For further information please contact Deborah Clark, Deborah Clark and Associates Ltd, on 01208 77900 or email deborah@dca-pr.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Environmental Impact Assessment into the feasibility of dredging of FalmouthHarbour through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

Fact file:

  • The channel is planned to be deepened to -8.3m Chart Datum (CD).
  • A berth for cruise liners would be dredged to -9.5m CD to ensure that they are navigable for 75% of the time by modern cruise vessels.
  • It is predicted that approximately 600,000 cubic metres of material will require dredging.
  • Potential beneficial disposal options are currently being investigated.
  • Work to date:
    • A vibrocore survey has been completed to determine the nature of the sediments to be dredged.
    • These samples from the sea bed have undergone chemical analysis.
    • A diver survey has been completed to investigate the plants and animals currently living on the sea bed to determine project impacts on the potential effect on the natural environment.
  • An archaeological assessment is also underway to investigate the effect of the dredge on any historic environment:
    • This has comprised of an analysis of existing information and carrying out geophysical surveys by boat to detect the presence of anomalies on the seabed.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
The Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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