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Nov Dec 2015 Marina World

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COVER STORY Prince Philip Yacht Haven secures future for Royal Southern The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC), founded in 1837, moved to its current River Hamble site near Southampton, UK, in 1936. It has enjoyed an enviable reputation for hosting sailing events despite having limited on-water facilities. Faced with potential failure of its landside assets by flooding and tidal erosion, the Club had to commit to major renovation and, in the process, asked its patron HRH The Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, if he would lend his name to a new development. Completion of the RSrnYC’s Prince Philip Yacht Haven (PPYH) has now secured the site and transformed the Club into a vibrant events centre. The Royal Southern site is modest, and constrained on all sides by other River Hamble activities and influences, including water depths, tidal flows, neighbouring uses, and navigation and access to the main river channel. Any renovation was further complicated by the historical cross-over between the access and activities, on both land and water, of RSrnYC and its near neighbour the Royal Air Force Yacht Club (RAFYC). The Clubs needed to work together to find meaningful solutions, and consideration regarding water space also had to be given to the adjacent pontoons of Port Hamble Marina. There is also a public right of way running straight through the site. The prime drivers for the development were the need to safeguard and stabilise the waterfront, improve berthing and gain full tidal access to walk ashore pontoons. Working in concert with the RAFYC and actively supported by the River Hamble Harbour Authority, who saw the plan as a strategic part of its own proposed development of the river’s western bank, application for planning consent was initiated in 2011. Past Commodore Mark Inkster and the PPYH Committee contracted specialist marina consultancy firm Marina Projects to Photo: Michael Austen lead, manage and implement the largest project the Club had ever undertaken. Marina Projects took responsibility for detailed design, stakeholder and public consultations, and planning, and then project managed the entire procurement and construction process using a selection of specialist contractors. “When we first became involved in the planning and design process four years ago, we knew there would be many challenges,” said Marina Projects managing director Mike Ward. “But doing nothing was not an option for the Royal Southern, as the landside assets were effectively falling into the river. Refurbishment has secured the Club, its contribution to the local economy in terms of employment and direct and indirect spend, and created a legacy for future generations of members.” The RSrnYC has 1,600 club members. Sixty members own boats moored at the club and others have nearby marina or river moorings. Prior to the installation of its new Walcon floating berth system, the Club had two mid-stream pontoons, only accessible by water taxi or tender, along with a holding pontoon that connected directly to shore in shallow water. But before the new marina pontoons could be installed many hurdles had to be negotiated. “The biggest challenges were securing the consents and managing the local public consultation,” Ward explained. Five separate approvals were required in the licensing regime and there was a long history of local HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by Royal Southern past commodore Mark Inkster, spoke with members and guests further to officially commissioning PPYH. L to r: Sarah and Dan McKiernan, Kaz and Mike Ward. 16 - November/December 2015

COVER STORY objection to projects on this part of the river. “Our strategy was to consolidate and bring the suite of applications together and deal with objections at once. And, during the whole process, we maintained constant communication with the local community and were always available to talk to residents, especially those with homes directly overlooking the site.” A detailed navigation risk assessment also had to be undertaken and presented for extensive scrutiny. “Navigation was a major issue,” noted Marina Projects’ Dan McKiernan, who project managed PPYH. “A narrow access zone between the Club’s midstream pontoons had become perceived as a public right of way and was used frequently by rowers and others.” This was further complicated by the need to identify potential environmental impacts, most particularly those brought about by the proposed capital dredge operation and the resultant changes to tidal flows in the immediate area. “Every spring tide, the site flooded on a regular basis and this impacted on all the buildings and the car park. The whole site had to be raised by approximately 1m (3.28ft). There was also significant contamination,” McKiernan confirmed. A flood defence strategy had to be developed and approved by the Environment Agency and permission obtained for the capital dredge operation – to remove large amounts of material from the river bed – that was due to be contracted to ML (UK). “Against the odds, the capital dredge proved easier in terms of permissions than expected,” Ward noted, but the result was a lot of spoil. “We had a great deal of work to do with the contaminated material although we were able to identify the amount of contamination was less than first expected,” McKiernan added. “Through a comprehensive process of sampling and analysis, we were able to promote and successfully certify the remediation of the contaminated material. The top layer of spoil – approximately 1,000m² (10,764ft²) – was removed and treated to make it inert and was then used on site as fill material.” Dredging and sheet piling were the grassroots undertakings and the latter – in flood prone water – was a big project. Two walls had to be built and connected: an Anchor Wall in the car park and the main Quay Wall further out into the river. In one area, the main wall was situated just 0.5m (1.45ft) from the yacht club building. “Installing the sheet pile wall was a significant marker as we didn’t know what we might find,” said McKiernan. “The ground was also very soft, which made for further design challenges throughout.” In all, two hundred and six 20.5m (67.25ft) long sheet piles were incorporated in the Quay Wall and one hundred and five 10m (32.8ft) sheet piles used for the Anchor Wall. The two were secured together using 20m (65.6ft) long shrouded tie-rods. In order to minimise impacts on local residents, landside access was restricted, which meant barging in main supplies by water with consequent risk of delays due to bad weather. When piling and dredging were complete, Walcon – which had already been at work on site with the Walcon Wizard all-purpose crane and piling barge – was ready to install a new pontoon system. Maricer was contracted to supply, install and commission service pedestals and pontoon utilities, including mains electrical power and mains water supply. The pontoon system included a bespoke floating slipway designed to give the Club’s junior members full tidal access. Preparation for the pontoon installation had been set early in the build process by the creation of an additional pontoon linked to the mid-stream pontoons to house vessels moored at pontoons scheduled for removal. The new pontoon system finally gave The Quarter Deck offers splendid views of the Hamble. all members shoreside access to their boats for the first time in the Club’s history. Dedicated disabled access was also incorporated into the design; an important requirement for the Club. Final touches included surfacing the car park, which is no longer in danger of slipping into the river, installing a linkspan to give RAFYC members access to their all tide access pontoons and heaving in pre-cast concrete slabs to complete construction of a new Quarter Deck terrace. On Thursday 4 th June, after eight months of construction work, the £2.6 million Prince Philip Yacht Haven was officially commissioned by none other than its patron HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip spoke at length with members and guests and was eager for a tour of the new facility. He unveiled a commemorative plaque before joining everyone for lunch. Over the past months, the failing Quay Wall has become a forgotten concern for members and its replacement is now a new habitat for marine creatures enjoying its living wall. The original jetty that once gave access to the haven’s sole shoreside pontoon is now a spacious 114m² (1,227ft²) location for functions, and the Quarter Deck – around 300m² (3,229ft²) of paved terrace – is an outdoor extension to the dining facilities, and a prime spot to view the Hamble’s extraordinary sea of masts. - November/December 2015 17

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