Weymouth Council has extended the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Centre's lease on Osprey Quay while their new facilities are in build

Plans to build a world-class sailing centre in Weymouth and Portland have been given a major boost by the unanimous decision of the local planning committee to renew the temporary planning consent which will enable Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy (WPSA) to carry on working from its premises at Osprey Quay, Portland, while plans for its new buildings and facilities are finalised.

An application from Portland Port Ltd for changed use of the nearby oil tanks meant that the Borough Council’s planning committee was faced with a difficult choice. For safety reasons, the two applications were incompatible. The Councillors accepted the technical advice given, and unanimously decided to support the WPSA’s plans.

This decision will now enable rapid progress to be achieved in the development and presentation of detailed plans for the permanent facilities.

“It has long been one of RYA’s goals to see a World Class sailing centre established at Weymouth,” said RYA Racing Manager John Derbyshire. “This site is a rare and ideal location. The support we have been given by the local community, and now this unanimous decision by the local planning authority, will add to the impetus that already exists and help us achieve our aspiration of a world class sailing facility.”

Chairman of the Academy, Bill Ludlow, praised the planning committee members and acknowledged the complexity of the issues and the difficult decision they had to make: “During the planning meeting councillors clearly voiced their support, and that of the local community, for the establishment of the Sailing Academy. They also spoke of the major benefits that further development of this project will bring including prestige, tourism, economic regeneration and employment.”

The Academy, which is in its second year of operation using interim facilities, already hosts over 40 major sailing events and championships each year, as well as providing water sports facilities and tuition to all sections of the community.