Broughty Ferry harbour could be transformed into a money spinning marina under plans being considered by council chiefs.
New rental berths for private boats, stricter controls on jet skiers and controlled zones for open water swimmers are some of the ideas under discussion in a bid to boost the area’s appeal to visitors.
Liberal Democrat councillor Craig Duncan said he has met police, Forth Ports Dundee Harbour Master Ryan Porteous and council officers as part of efforts to create a “coherent strategy” for the Broughty Ferry waterfront.
Council bosses have confirmed they are considering the proposals.
Mr Duncan said: “The harbour ought to be viewed as a potential asset which could generate an income stream in landing and launch charges just as marinas and harbours elsewhere do.
“A more hands on and proactive approach by the council could attract new fee paying business to the harbour as well as enable the council to introduce reasonable restrictions around operating times.
“That might afford residents some respite from noise. It could also enable the council or police to offer safety advice and ensure that users are aware of permitted, activities, off limits zones etc to protect wildlife such as dolphins and also open water swimmers.”
Harbour users and local residents have complained about jet skiers risking lives and endangering a nearby seal colony in recent months.
Mr Duncan said creating more clearly defined areas for the various water sports could remove some of the tensions between competing river users.
“The Tay estuary is beautiful and surely spacious enough to accommodate all manner of users but safety dictates that not all activities are simultaneously compatible.”
The changes should come after the flood defence works are completed on the seafront in May 2022, he added.
Neighbouring harbours and marinas in Tayport and Arbroath generate thousands of pounds a year income every year, though that has to be set against large overhead costs.
The waiting list for an annual berth in Arbroath sits at around 29, according to the latest update for the harbour’s running committee.
The Fife harbour, which is run by the charity Tayport Harbour Trust, also maintains a waiting list of around 15 applicants for one of its 100 permanent berths.
Mr Duncan said the Ferry could learn from their examples.
“The council lacks experience of running a harbour but officers could get in touch with other local authorities and clubs to explore the different business models available,” he said.
“This could turn an under-used facility, which is a drain on council resources, into a popular and vibrant attraction, ensuring safe and responsible usage and generating an income stream for the council.
A Dundee City Council spokeswoman said: “We are looking into the possibility of these proposals.”