The Vision

 

 

Northfleet Harbour of the future could be a fantastic vibrant destination to visit, the mixed use development to the East of the harbour could offer an attractive marina boulevard with shops and restuarants overlooking the harbour and the Thames.

 

The harbour itself could host a very attractive Thames marina for yachts and motor boats of all sizes, as well as a marina the harbour could also cater for historic sailing ships becoming a centre for maritime heritage, boat repairs, sports facilities, sail training, boat sales, fishing boats, shrimpers, chandlers, storage, cranage, and much much more.

 

The below are just some examples of what the harbour should be used for, the possibilities are endless.

 

Please do let us know of any ideas you have for the harbour via our contacts page and please do leave a comment as well, this is a community venture and your input is welcome.

 

Ebbsfleet International Marina

 

A really pleasant user friendly marina could be created as part of a package of different businesses and community initiatives, the marina could be a stand alone facility with the historic ships and boat repairs and community groups running as seperate ventures. As can be seen from the below pictures once the harbour wall is reopened it wouldn't take much to put pontoons in and bring the harbour back to use catering for a whole range of pleasure craft.

 

 and this  Safe walk on walk off berths

 

 The below is how an opened river wall could look, the final design is subject to a feasibility study, this particular example is a lifting sill but it could just as well be a double locked system similar to Gillingham Marina.

 

 

The new lock gate re-opening up the harbour to the Thames

 

The layout of the harbour could address a multitude of uses, the below to scale drawing shows how historic ship restoration, sea scouts, boat repairs, restuarant boulevards and a marina could all be catered for.

 

 

 

Attractive walks and seating areas.

 

The Harbour and River Fleet restoration will not just be about boating and community facilities, it will create a very attractive destination in its own right to simply walk around and visit, there is nothing more relaxing on a summers day than simply sitting and watching the boats go by, perhaps with a nice cup of tea or a pint from a new pub restuarant created as part of the neighbouring regeneration scheme.

 

Pleasant walks and scenery

 

A home for historic ships

 

The nation has a wealth of historic vessels waiting for restoration or simply looking for a place to stop and show of their ship to the public, at the moment there are very limited place on the Thames where historic ships can actually do this, the harbour could offer dozens of affordable places for ships to be displayed and repaired, one ship would make for a good day out never mind the opportunity to see several some pristine and others being traditionally repaired.

 

Room for dozens of historic sailing barges           Visitors flocking to see the restored Cambria

 

There is over a km of berthing like this alongside Northfleet Harbour's harbour walls.

 

There is space for dozens of sailing ships this size alongside a sizable marina

 

Public boat launching facilities

 

 You wouldn't believe that on a river as important as the Thames there are no public launching facilities, we intend to address this with the harbour restoration providing affordable launching facilities as well as cranage for boat repairs and storage.

 

A public slipway Boat cranage

 

 

 Boat repairs and storage

 

Another vital facility missing on the Thames is the ability to easily take boats out for repairs and storage, with the capability for boats to be taken out of the water a whole new industry of boat repairs, sales and launching can provide much needed jobs for the local community at Northfleet. 

 

Much needed space for boat repairs and storage

 

 

 Access for Migratory fish and other wildlife.

 

The isolation of the River Fleet from the River Thames by three major barriers should be addressed, the fleet could be a vibrant breeding area for migratory fish as well as be opened up for birds and other wildlife on its route as it transits from salt water to fresh, currently the obstacles are as follows; First a sluice gate that is closed when the tide comes in preventing anything other than the exit of water from the Fleet to the Thames at low tide . The second barrier is principally of height the height of water in Northfleet Harbour is approx 1.5m lower than the River Fleet and is via two small waterfalls and two races which makes it virtually impassable, when this area was tidal these were not barriers as the tide covered them for much of the day and the locals regularly caught eels here. The final barrier is the long culverted section between the harbour and the South of the railway line near Northfleet Station, this could be immediately opened up along Thames Way and in sections for the rest of the route as the ensuing regeneration allows, at the moment there is a car wash, tyre warehouse and a bus car park all of which could be relocated as part of future regeneration leaving a very attractive and biodiverse river walk from Ebbsfleet International Railway station, through to the harbour and along the to the regenerated Lafarge site.

 

Reopened River Fleet

 

The stretch of River Fleet between Ebbsfleet International Railway station and the harbour really could look quite stunning if opened up just like the next three pictures.

 

 This could be the pathside walk from Ebbsfleet to the Harbour   The natural River bed of the fleet

 

 

Ducks enjoying the natural river bed

 

 

Currently we have a very uninspiring walk and a totally wasted opportunity for a stunning river walk and beautiful place for the locals to enjoy.

 

 

Current view of culvereted covered over River Fleet     Covered over River Fleet    Why can't the residents of these houses have a back garden backing onto a natural wildlife reserve

 

 

 

 

Sports facilities

 

 The harbour could be home to world class sporting facilities, there could be youth sail training to start off future champions, many fine races could start from here, round the world, round Britain, Calais Booze Run, kayak and sea canoes and much much more.

 

 Heritage interpretation

 

With the rich heritage at the harbour there is certainly enough to talk about and put on display to make any visit an educational one, ideal for schools and tourism....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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