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BERTH PAINS: Another year, another battle over the future of Bridlington harbour. So, says what does the future really hold for the coastal town?
RIDLINGTON Harbour is the one place that everyone visits when they go to the town and it’s also where battle lines have been drawn for years in a quest to wrestle power from the harbour commissioners. The council wants to build a new hotel and car park complex and the owners want to keep the status quo. Last year the latest public inquiry once again fell in favour of the current incumbents.
It is arguably the seaside town’s biggest attraction and perhaps surprisingly to many it holds the titles of largest shellfish landing port in England and largest lobster landing port in Europe, with a total fishing catch valued at £5.7m in 2011. Holidaymakers are entranced by both the commercial and pleasure boat operations.
The Port of Bridlington is not owned or managed by the council. It is a Trust Port, of which there are around 40 in the UK that are independently-run and the rift that has developed between the harbour and the council has been a long-running issue.
Dennis Jewitt is one of 12 Harbour Commissioners. He’s a Bridlington-born retired fisherman who recalls the days when the town’s fishing fleet was still hauling in cod and haddock in significant quantity, rather than today being the main crustacean landing port in the UK.
He talks of the council’s fight to take control costing the harbour £1m to defend