A new foot and cycle bridge across the Medina is one of the features of the Newport Harbour Masterplan.
After two years of consultation, the Isle of Wight Council has put forward the latest plans to redevelop the harbour and quay area in the heart of the Island’s historic county town.
Options under consideration include restaurants, housing, commercial space, new car parking, higher education resources, a rebuild of the existing Riverside Centre, a new hotel and a cultural venue.
The project is intended to increase connectivity to the existing town centre, attract visitors, and ensure the future of the harbour by providing for maintenance and investment in harbour facilities.
The new proposals are mostly on the eastern side of the estuary, keeping the Medina itself available for boats and leaving more commercial functions on the west, including the existing marine and boating activity.
The plan aims to keep and reuse buildings where possible, to help conserve and enhance the historic and marine heritage of Newport Quay.
Plans have been drawn up in the light of suggestions from harbour users, residents and businesses, and as a result the new proposals include a smaller residential area as a gateway to the green space, the chance to create places where people can both live and work, and a potential new focus on creative industries.
The proposed lifting bridge is for pedestrians and cyclists, linking Seaclose Park with destinations such as the Isle of Wight College and St Mary’s Hospital, as well as the many shops and businesses at Dodnor.
This would be in addition to any possible future vehicle bridge, which is not included in this plan.
The proposals could be adopted as planning policy, which will then be the framework for development over the next 20-25 years with the first projects on the ground in the next two or three years.
Cabinet member for regeneration and business development, Councillor Wayne Whittle, said: “Our historic county town drives the economy of the Island, and the Newport Harbour masterplan gives us a chance to see some serious investment in the future of the town.
“I’m confident these plans will be the blueprint for some exciting and innovative improvements to the whole of Newport – and I’m looking forward to seeing the new businesses and visitors arriving.”