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Barbican landing stage to have new owners

02 February 2023
Photo of the Plymouth Barbican

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners are to take over responsibility for managing and maintaining the Barbican landing stage as a measure to help ensure its long term future and reduce costs to the local tax payers.

Plymouth City Council is making a decision to hand back the lease to the commissioners for a section of the foreshore and seabed next to Commercial Wharf, which includes the landing stage. Returning the lease to the commissioners means they will become responsible for running the stage which is used by a number of ferry and tour vessel operators.

Cattewater Harbour Commissioners are a statutory port authority for the Cattewater Harbour and also operate civil pilotage for the Port of Plymouth.

The Council is currently responsible for the maintenance and safe operation of Barbican Landing Stage, apart from one section, which is operated and managed by the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Jonathan Drean said: “This is a commercial landing stage and the Commissioners are better placed to manage and maintain it, allowing us to concentrate and target limited Council resources on where people need them the most.

“There will be increased maintenance costs as the landing stage gets older and the Cattedown Harbour Commissioners have the necessary resources and considerable expertise to maintain the continued safe operation of the landing stage. It also complements their existing functions.”

Responsibility for issuing licences to allow commercial operations/businesses to use the landing stage will be passed to the commissioners. These include tour vessels, water taxis and casual mooring.

The cost of operating and maintaining the landing stage currently exceeds the income received from the licences. Last year it generated £14,576 income but cost the Council £24,328, including £8,920 maintenance costs.     

The decision recommends the surrender of the lease between Plymouth City Council and The Cattewater Harbour Authorities for the section of foreshore and fundus adjoining Commercial Wharf in the Cattewater Harbour. It is subject to call in.