Ramsey Marina Limited says if its plans for the town go ahead it would be protected by an artificial reef powered by renewable energy.

No planning application has yet been sought for the highly controversial plans which have faced significant opposition from residents and some politicians.

The proposed 400 berth marina, conceived by RML is located in a marine nature reserve, which has only added to the opposition from some. However, RML says it is being designed to be as ‘ecologically sensitive as possible’.

A spokesperson said: ‘Plans include the incorporation of new reefs, seagrass meadows, electric vessel and vehicle charging, and the use of eco-concrete.  

‘CCell’s reef will be placed at the base of the marina breakwater to protect the marina walls from erosion (scour protection) and to create a new habitat that will enhance marine bio-diversity.  As part of its work, CCell will be testing the integration of used scallop shells within the reef and, in due course, used mussel shells, both by-products from the Island’s fishing industry.’

CCell has started a nine-month trial of its reef technology in Douglas Harbour.

Protection and Eco-systems

The company says that as well as seagrass growth, CCell’s reef is ‘also expected to boost the numbers and varieties of fish in Isle of Man waters’.

Dr Will Bateman, Founder and CEO of CCell, said: ‘Our reef technology – a “plug-in digital living reef” – will provide the marina with natural protection from erosion and at the same time enhance the quality of the local marine eco-system. It’s great to be involved in a major project in UK and European waters – our first – and be part of such an exciting development that will boost the Isle of Man’s marine environment and its economy.’

Robin Bromley-Martin, Director of RML, added: ‘We are very excited that the Isle of Man should be the location for the “cold water” testing of CCell’s pioneering technology.  Ramsey Marina will be the proof of concept for the technology on the Isle of Man and given the issues that the Island is facing with climate change and rising sea levels, it is hugely relevant to other parts of the Island.  We are pleased that RML is in the vanguard of its application on the island.’

No Application

The spokesperson said that the plan is for work to begin on the £100m marina, which would include residential and commercial property development (including a hotel and restaurants), a yacht repair yard and leisure facilities, within the next two years.

However, it hasn’t submitted any planning application. Mr Bromley-Martin says that the company has performed an environmental impact assessment and that the planning application is likely to come later this year.