A petition to install a new slipway in Shoreham, which campaigners believe would bring huge economic benefit to the area, has amassed hundreds of signatures.
The Shoreham Slipways Group is ramping up the pressure on its 14-year campaign to improve boat access to the river at Humphrey’s Gap, a demand it says is backed up by the 300-plus signatures.
Brendan Whelan, chairman of the group, has seen activity on the river decline during his 45 years in the area.
He said: “One of the biggest benefits of a slipway is the economics of it.
“If you encourage people to launch boats, they will spend money in cafés and pubs.
“Everywhere you build a slipway you get lots of visitors and visitors bring in money.”
He said it would also provide a ‘social outlet’ and believes it would ‘definitely be well-used.’
Humphrey’s Gap lies within the former Minelco site which is destined for more than 400 homes by owners Southern Housing Group.
Mr Whelan hopes to persuade the company to include a slipway in the development, for which his group would contribute funds.
He said: “According to Southern Housing’s publicity information, they are keen to provide benefits to the local community so we would like to work with them to achieve a common goal.”
Spencer Neal, of Southern Housing Group, said the company’s plans for Free Wharf’s regeneration already included moorings and facilities for visiting boats, as well as riverside walkways and ‘extensive public realm.’
He said: “We are aware of the suggestions put forward by the Shoreham Slipway Group, and these are being seriously considered by our technical design team.”
A spokesperson for Adur District Council said it had asked Southern Housing Group to undertake a technical study on the issue and was awaiting the results of the study.
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said: “Providing slipways is not a priority for the county council so we will not be promoting one at this location.
“However if the developer wishes to provide such a facility we would, of course, be willing to consider all the implications of installing one.”
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