Re-imagining Noss on Dart
The first phase of a £75 million site regeneration at Premier Marinas’ Noss on Dart marina in Devon, England neared completion as Marina World closed for press in December 2022. The project is particularly special for Premier as, although the group is a seasoned owner operator of some of the UK’s finest marinas, it has never before been able to start from scratch on a redevelopment project.Premier acquired the 37-acre (15ha) site on the eastern bank of the River Dart nearly six years ago and announced its mission to create a waterside environment in which both people and wildlife can thrive. It has always been the company’s goal to create something really special, with a bustling community operating in harmony with the site’s natural beauty.
Phase one has established the core basics of a fully operational marina, boatyard, and associated customer facilities. The infrastructure for the marina, complete and close to being fully occupied, comprises 232 full-service berths for boats of 9 to 25m (29ft 6in to 82ft) at a Walcon floating pontoon system.
Walcon provided a comprehensive service in the design, construction and installation of the marina whilst being sensitive to the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Meanwhile, Premier Marinas made sure that extra consideration was taken to increase fairway widths between the pontoons and ensure that all finger piers were equal to berth length so customers could easily get on and off vessels regardless of berthing position.
The final tasks before 2022 year end included repositioning the main bridgehead from the marina to the shore to give easier access to the new marina facilities building, which houses the marina reception, luxury shower facilities, a laundry, the Boathouse Café and a relaxed berth holder lounge.
The new boatyard and drystack opened as early as March 2022. The yard has been continuously busy with lift and launch, maintenance work and other projects and is well-equipped with an M230H Marine Travelift Hydro M-Drive marine forklift, a Roodberg trailer and a 75-tonne Wise hoist. The drystack, which like the multi-storey car park has been sympathetically tucked away at the rear of the development site, offers storage for around 100 small motorboats and RIBs. The specification of the building frame was dictated by Premier’s in-house structural engineer.
There has been strong interest in the commercial units on site and it is fast becoming a hub for marine services. In April 2022, South Devon College Marine Academy officially opened its doors to students and will continue to build its reputation as a maritime centre of excellence, including supporting Premier’s own marina apprentices. The Academy has been ten years in the planning and became a reality when Premier acquired the site and supported its development.
Commitment to providing high quality service extends to the installation of a new high-speed Wi-Fi network, which spans the marina and a self-service fuel bay. The latter offers unleaded petrol and diesel for marine use with card and contactless payment.
Premier continues to reduce or prevent water and air pollution through good management practice and design solutions. This is evident in the installation of extensive solar power systems, electric vehicle charge points and the revolutionary bespoke FiltaBund marine wash-down water recycling system that prevents run-off being released into the river.
At present, every berth is supplied with a 16A or 32A electricity supply. As most visitors tend to stay at least one night, this supply is ample to trickle charge an electric boat slowly or overnight. Although Premier has yet to see a demand for fast chargers, it admits that in terms of preparing for the future it is somewhat reliant on the local electricity provider’s infrastructure when it comes to being able to provide high wattage chargers for boats.
Phase two of the project is due to begin this year with the development of the waterside area – previously home to the Philips building – the original shipbuilders on the site. The development comprises two buildings, one providing around 40 waterside residential apartments and the other housing the hotel and spa, where the iconic ‘Philips’ gable will be recreated as a nod to the site’s rich shipbuilding history.
Highly passionate about Noss on Dart, Premier Marinas CEO Pete Bradshaw says: “The redevelopment of Noss on Dart is hugely important to us. After all, this is a glorious site and it will remain in our hands for a long time to come, so it really matters to us.” The development has been a test-bed for a lot of new ideas that can be incorporated into other Premier sites so as to raise the bar at every single facility.