THE developer behind proposals for a controversial 550-berth marina claims it will create 100 jobs and benefit wildlife.
The Onley Park scheme would provide extra jobs and improve the ecology of the site if it was given planning permission, it says.
Opponents to the proposal have been strong in their criticism, calling it a “monster marina” and attracting actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales to a protest.
But Joe Oliver, a director of J Marine, the company behind the plan, insisted the idea came as a result of extensive research.
He said: “I have spent six years on this project and in that time, I have asked boat owners and operators what they wanted and the one thing that came back was that they wanted a choice.
“There has been an increase of 8.7 per cent in demand for moorings in this area each year for the past four years so there is a demand. I also did some research on the congestion issue and we found that there was still plenty of spare capacity at the locks.”
He also claims the project will have several benefits to the wider local community and the ecology of the area.
Mr Oliver added: “The scheme will create 20 full-time jobs and 12 seasonal jobs once the marina is fully operational, plus around 20 to 30 construction jobs and, what with the knock-on effect as well, we’d be looking at the site creating a total of around 100 jobs in the area.
“We will also be creating 18 hectares of public parkland and valuable wildlife habitats. The site is currently poor quality agricultural land and this land will be repaired.”
Frank Brannigan, who lives nearby, supports the proposal. He said: “All through these plans, Joe has kept us informed and involved us. This will also help create jobs for the young people in the area.”
The Barby Pools Marina plan will be discussed by Daventry District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday and officers have recommended the plans for approval.
Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee is due to decide on Wednesday November 7 whether to grant permission for the part of the scheme that falls its side of the boundary between the two authorities.