By Dan Santy 12/07 Updated: 18/07 07:20
THE CREATION of a huge £15 million marina near Rugby is a step closer after the developers applied for planning permission.
Plans for the 550 berth Barby Pools marina, on land near Onley Park and the two neighbouring prisons, have been submitted to both Rugby Borough Council and Daventry District Council.
It is the culmination of around five years' work by J Marine Ltd and designers Kirkland Fraser Moor, one of the architects behind Cornwall's Eden Project.
In a report to Rugby Borough Council, bosses at J Marine, including director Joseph Oliver, identify a shortage of high quality berths on the country's waterways and say the scale of the project would help address this.
And the company claims the marina would also provide a boost to Rugby's economy, creating jobs both while it is built and for those running it once finished.
It would be built in phases, with a central pool and piazza to be surrounded by three more each providing non-residential berths for boaters.
Each phase would take around a year to build - creating between 20 and 30 construction jobs a time - while over 40 full-time equivalent jobs would be available for the running of the completed marina.
Tourism would also be given a boost, with a restaurant, cafe, shop, boaters' lounge and parkland expected to attract visitors to the site- just 3.5km from Dunchurch.
J Marine director Mr Oliver said: "The project represents an investment of £15 million and has the potential to deliver substantial boating, ecological and community benefits."
People living in the nearby village of Onley Park are said to have welcomed the plans, but other marina owners are sceptical and think the size of the project could lead to congestion on the area's waterways.
Both Rugby Borough Council and Daventry District Council - which has the final say - will discuss the plans at a later date.
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