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Revealed: Plans For Popular Isle Of Wight Beach To Deter Jet Skis

A popular Isle of Wight beach could see buoys installed this summer in a bid to deter jet skis.

In an application submitted by Freshwater Parish Council, the authority is hoping to install a 600 metre stretch of buoys along Colwell Bay, starting near Colwell Chine Road and going up to Bramble Chine.

The buoy line will go out as far as 100 metres, but remain on the Freshwater side of the Totland and Freshwater boundary, which starts in the Bay.

Last summer saw a rise in complaints of anti-social behaviour on the water, including jet ski use, which saw Hampshire Police’s Marine Support Unit launch Operation Wavebreaker to address the issues.

Now, in planning documents the parish council said it wishes to deter powered crafts like jet skis and rigid inflatable boats from entering the area of water which proves popular with Islanders and tourists during the summer months to better the experience of swimmers.

Planning agents, Plan Research, for the application, said safety issues have been noted by the parish council on a regular basis, particularly with powered craft going to the facilities along the Bay at the same time of year that families are using the shallow waters.

To make the beach as safe as possible, the parish council is intending to install the buoys in time for the 2021 tourist season and is asking for the application to be granted as soon as possible.

The beach is within the Colwell Bay Site of Specific Scientific Interest and within a Marine Conservation Zone but documents say the safety buoys would be installed with minimum impact on biodiversity.

To view the application, 21/00861/FUL, you can view the council’s planning portal. Comments will be accepted until May 28.

Earlier this year, the Isle of Wight Council unanimously approved a Beach Management Strategy Framework which, among other actions, would look at other authorities and see whether it is feasible to implement an Island-wide policy on personal watercraft.

Subject to funding, it was also recommended to bring forward the installation of safety marker buoys.

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