Wightlink submit planning applications for £45m investment

Planning approvals will be sought for Fishbourne and Portsmouth ferry terminals in this £45m investment by Wightlink.

Wightlink Ferries planning drawings

This in from Karen on behalf of Wightlink. Ed

Wightlink Ferries has submitted planning applications to the Isle of Wight Council and Portsmouth City Council for improvements to its terminals at Fishbourne and Portsmouth Gunwharf to support the company’s proposed investment in a new ship for the Portsmouth-Fishbourne route in 2017.

The £45 million investment will be the largest-ever made by the cross-Solent ferry operator.


Earlier this year, hundreds of Wightlink customers, stakeholders and neighbours on both side of the Solent took part in a major consultation on the plans for a new car ferry, similar in size to the present flagship St Clare, along with improvements to the existing terminals including facilities for double deck loading to improve the efficiency and resilience of the ferry service.


More than 500 individuals and organisations gave their views to senior managers at community meetings and drop-in events at both Portsmouth Gunwharf and Fishbourne terminals or commented online or by post.

They included Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner, Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond, councillors, and people living near the terminals. Presentations were made to Fishbourne Parish Council, Gunwharf Residents Association and the Old Portsmouth and Gunwharf Quays Neighbourhood Forum during the month long consultation period.

Most welcome plans
Most respondents welcomed the proposed investment, with particular mention made of plans to increase vessel capacity and reliability of the service and cut congestion for passengers.

Issues such as traffic movements at both Portsmouth and Fishbourne, ways to reduce noise and light at terminals and the design of the double deck loading ramps were also raised and have been addressed in the planning application documentation.

Public consultations
Isle of Wight Council and Portsmouth City Council will now both hold statutory consultations about the proposals, which are expected to come before councillors for decision early in 2016.

The Wightlink Webpage will be updated with information about the development.

Wednesday, 21st October, 2015 12:33pm


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Filed under: Ferry, Fishbourne, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Planning, Top story, Travel

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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11 Comments on "Wightlink submit planning applications for £45m investment"

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On the basis that the repeated year-on-year above-inflation fare rises on Wightlink are killing Island businesses and stifling our tourist trade there are three questions to be asked about the proposals: Will they lower fares Will they increase sailing frequency Will they cut crossing times I would imagine it’s a resounding NO to all of those at which point the question has to be asked: Why bother… Read more »

Over and above the issues that Thomas sets up as important, I’d say my biggest concern about the Portsmouth crossing going forward is punctuality. Would this improve punctuality so as not to waste my time sitting in a car park? On the surface it looks as if these proposals address my concern.


Do the plans show the demolition of the houses that front Fishbourne Lane and othr properties on the main Ryde to Newport road so that a new 4 carriageway highway can be constructed to move the increased traffic from Fishbourne (and East Cowes) quickly and easily to other parts of the Island ?

Luisa Hillard

I will be interested to see how this gateway project compares to that in East Cowes.

It seems unlikely that they’re going to requisition land all around the terminal for a poorly justified rationale and demolish the surrounding properties, either. It would be almost as if someone at Wightlink bothered reading the Island Plan, rather than just tossing what they wanted in front of planning, not giving one single care about their neighbours, or smaller Island-based businesses. However, it’s still just fiddling with… Read more »

Surely the cost of the two ferry proposals would pay for a tunnel.


Unlikely to cover the cost of a full feasibility study.


The feasibility study was done years ago….and hushed up!

Well if Tigger gave his comments, beware, based on his ‘participation’ ‘ this morning in the debate ‘Rail services to Portsmouth and the South West’ at Westmister Hall, heaven help us ! Perhaps he secured transport for his new friend Simi the real Tiger ! After he and his advisors failed in their ‘Better Ferry’ campaign it was back to the drawing board, Island line next target… Read more »
I think ThomasC asks questions that we’re starting to forget about, and we shouldn’t. But do we actually need to have a ferry costing millions for a 40 minute journey? We don’t. The crossing will not be quicker, regardless of size, and cost, they’ll do the same time, because that what suits demand, and fuel usage. Anything that requires enormous expenditure is bad news, because we’ve got… Read more »

It doesn’t matter how wonderful the new ferries and terminals will be if the night time service is at best 3 hourly intervals, how would mainland people react if all motorways and trunk roads were to shut between midnight & 3 am?