Thursday, June 16, 2005

Marina protest as vessels told to leave

Some 26 boats, of a hundred based at what was the Sheppherd-Capurro marina, met yesterday with Joe Holliday, Minister for the Port, in a bid to find somewhere to berth their vessels after being told they have to leave the area.

A series of circumstances including changes to the construction plans at the Ocean Village project and the delays in providing berths at the Cormorant, Coaling Island have threatened to make these boat owners ‘homeless’.

Many are either workers living at the marina or retired people who have been living in the area for up to 5 years.

One told the Chronicle that they had originally been comforted by a letter from the developers who took over the marina because they were told in February that they would be able to stay although they would have to move about as works progressed. Then on June 1 they received a formal notice to leave within 28 days.

Mr Holliday has told them he will try to resolve the issue and a meeting has been called for Monday at which representatives of the boats, Ocean Village and the Captain of the Port will be present.

There is pressure on Ocean Village to provide some of the relocation costs even though they have denied they are under obligations to have allowed the vessels to remain in the first place.

“We pay tax and social insurance and contribute to the economy,” a boat owner to the Chronicle. He accepted that the developers may have a legal right to serve them with notice but said that it was not moral to do so.

One source said that the issue had been aggravated by the fact that delays over the boat facilities at Coaling Island meant that some 40 vessels at Capurro’s had stayed on later than expected.

Mico Capurro, former owner of the marina but now retained as a consultant confirmed that the marina was bought last December by the developer. He explained that the contractors who will be creating an underground/water carpark required more space then was now available, a development that had not been anticipated by any of the parties.

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