Search

Outer Harbour: No action over alleged illegal dredging... but investigation underway

PUBLISHED: 10:17 01 June 2012

Aerial picture of the Outer Harbour.

Aerial picture of the Outer Harbour.

Archant

NO official action will be taken over dredging around the Outer Harbour site, as enforcers say they learned of alleged activity too late to attempt to build a robust case.

Campaigner John Cooper fears more than 640,000 cubic metres has been dredged from the Outer Harbour by vessels without relevant licences - allegations Great Yarmouth Port Company (GYPC) strongly denies.

Unauthorised dredging can result in hefty fines, with a case in Falmouth, Cornwall seeing the owner of the town’s inner harbour slapped with a £630,000 bill in 2010.

And Gorleston man Mr Cooper says he has been in touch with the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) over alleged breaches since 2007.

MMO officers agreed that ship tracking systems “appear to indicate the movement of dredging vessels in and around the vicinity of Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour”.

The tracking data is taken from the vessels’ Automated Identification System (AIS). But marine officers noted there was not sufficient evidence to prove the type of work the dredgers undertook.

A letter from the MMO to Mr Cooper reads: “The majority of these AIS tracks relate to activity which occurred over two years ago which unfortunately presents us with a problem from an enforcement perspective. Had we received this information at the time we would have been better placed to deal with it more effectively.”

It goes on to state there are not sufficient grounds to proceed further “at this time”, but a spokesman told the Mercury the Outer Harbour is still being investigated.

“This case is still ongoing, and can therefore not be discussed in further detail at this point,” he said.

Eliza O’Toole, vice chairman for GYPC, stressed the company is always compliant while dredging works are carried out.

“It is not unusual for there to be dredgers working in and around ports,” she said. “We have a range of activities which occur in the harbour using dredging vessels from time to time and which are subject to different approval requirements depending on the activities and the type of dredger. On all occasions we are compliant with the relevant statutory requirements for the various activities and vessels including for the initial construction of, and ongoing works on the Outer Harbour.”

Other News

A man who threatened to kill a woman he bombarded with abusive phone calls has been jailed.

17:10

A man who spat at a police officer’s face and hair after being arrested has been spared jail.

A stretch of seafront Great Yarmouth road is set to undergo nine weeks of repairs - at a cost of £100,000.

14:56

Adriano Guedes, aged 65, of Kessingland, moved to England from Portugal more than 15 years ago and was admitted to hospital in 2014 after having a stroke.

Most Read

13:10

The man who was killed in a fatal stabbing in Great Yarmouth has been named.

Read more
Norwich Magistrates Court
Yesterday, 11:17

A man remains in hospital with serious injuries after his car crashed into a telephone pole and tree before landing in a ditch.

Read more
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
Yesterday, 13:37

A man has been arrested on suspicion of multiple driving offences including drink driving in Great Yarmouth.

Read more

Portraits and silhouettes of soldiers, nurses and munitions workers lined two Norfolk beaches as part of a Remembrance Day tribute by filmmaker Danny Boyle.

Read more
Remembrance Day 2018
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Breydon Bridge on the A47 was closed in both directions after two cars crashed.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Great Yarmouth Mercury weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy