Plans for a new pontoon at Burntisland could breathe new life into the harbour area, it has been claimed.
Burntisland Sailing Club has formally submitted an application to Fife Council which would see the installation of a new floating pontoon mooring for up to 14 marine leisure vessels and an access ramp at the East Dock.
The harbour is one of the oldest along the Forth, with two wet inner docks and a tidal basin outer harbour. It also has B-listed status, which means that the local authority will have to consider a separate application for listed building consent.
Those behind the project – which could cost up to £100,000 – say the new facilities will help realise the full potential of the harbour, which has recently been reaping rewards from an increase in coastal shipping and the offshore renewable energy sector.
“It’s been in the pipeline for a wee while, so it’s not a flash in the pan,” said club commodore Sarah Price.
“The idea behind it is to improve the facilities for the community in Burntisland.
“We’ve got the most fantastic harbour in the whole of the Forth and Burntisland is special because even at low water the boats are still floating, so there’s a big opportunity there for the town to make better use of the harbour.
“I think it’s something that’s sorely needed and it’s going to be of benefit to a lot of people. There are a lot of boats based at the likes of Port Edgar and Granton, and although people might not be tempted to stay they do want to visit us.
“This area could be like a little version of the Solent and I think this is going to be a great asset.”
The two largest tenants at the port are Burntisland Fabrications (BiFab) and Briggs Marine, but it is hoped an increase in leisure and tourist visitors will bring wider benefits to the area.
It is understood the installation proposals include metal fixings to the harbour but would not involve any dredging or fixings to the harbour floor.
Detailed design documents say the current informal arrangements for mooring, together with the need to use vertical ladders to access the harbour from the boats, is “neither safe, attractive or user friendly”, with any new access ramp ensuring easy access.
It has also been argued the pontoon plan will enhance an important gateway to the town and make it more welcoming for existing users and new visitors.