South Coast marina closures over Easter

The operators of a hugely popular South Coast Marina are angry at an MOD ‘exclusion zone’ to be put in place which will affect many customers over the Easter Bank Holiday, while searches are made for possible World War II bombs.

Part of Haslar Marina in Gosport will be closed off for three days from 10-13 April from 0600 until 1800 while searches are made of HMS Blockhouse by UXB experts. A 272m diameter exclusion zone will be centred over Haslar Creek and affect about three pontoons of the marina directly as well as cutting off others who would need to go through the zone to get in or out.

The 600 berth marina has around 120 visitor’s berths, which are not affected, and Easter is normally a very busy period for the harbour, which is run by Dean & Reddyhoff.

Marina spokeswoman Helen Bramah, said: ‘It is very unfortunate and we were very unhappy with the operation but it is totally out of our control.’ The MOD had originally wanted to close the marina down completely, but after an appeal by marina operators they relented and allowed restricted access.

Berth holders have been served with MOD warnings saying that although it is expected no bombs are actually still stored in HMS Blockhouse, no paperwork exists which confirms this and so an examination of the site needs to be made.

One boat owner, Bob Aylott, freelance photographer, author and journalist, whose boat Susannah, a wooden classic 23ft Purbeck Heron is moored in the marina, told YM: ‘I can’t imagine what a World War II bomb would do to my boat…I’m glad my insurance is up to date. But there will be chaos over Easter with these closures.’

Picture by Bob Aylott