Work to start on new £1.2m Mamhead Slipway in March

EDDC paying for larger slipway which will bring more business to Exmouth

Work begins next month on a brand new slipway for Mamhead as East Devon District Council invests £1.2 million to restore the vital maritime access to Exmouth’s wonderful waterside.

When completed, the slipway will be a larger, safer and more resilient facility for people to use for decades to come. It will be able to take bigger craft with space to turn and manoeuvre off the highway.  There will also be new signage and publicity to encourage people to use the new slipway when they might be using other water accesses such as Belshers Slipway.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, deputy leader of East Devon District Council and chairman of Exmouth Regeneration Programme Board, welcomed the news and said:

The start of the development marks another milestone in the council’s ongoing plans to improve the town’s seafront.

When complete, the new slipway will encourage water users, both from Exmouth and further afield, to use this wonderful maritime location bringing more business to the town. This is a positive investment from the district council for the town and it will pay dividends, both economically and environmentally.

The new slipway will be 38 metres long, and 12 metres wide, while the existing slipway, which closed in 2012 to protect public safety, is 34 metres long and 7.5 metres wide. The Council expects it to be ready for use by Autumn 2016.

Contractors Raymond Brown Construction Ltd will start work in the Mamhead Gardens area in early March to provide additional vehicle manoeuvring space for vehicles and trailers reversing down the slipway.

The existing slipway will then be demolished in late April to avoid impacting on the thousands of migrating birds who spend the winter months on the River Exe.

The council has a licence from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO),  who is advised by Natural England, to permit work in the estuary during the spring and summer. Building work is restricted in the winter months as the estuary is designated as a Special Protection Area for the over-wintering birds.
The marine licence also requires that any piling work carried out while the new slipway is being built does not impact on migrating fish.

While the works are carried out, the walkway behind the sea wall at this end of the Esplanade will be closed, as will the steps down to the lower walkway along the base of the sea wall.

Funding for the slipway will be provided from within East Devon District Council’s capital programme.