Long-standing plans for a seaside recreational area in Old Man Bay should be at least partially realized by the end of the year.
The area is located to the east and west of the dock near Over the Edge Restaurant.
North Side MLA Ezzard Miller reported on progress at the latest district council meeting. One holdup he mentioned was the need to receive necessary permissions before work could go ahead.
When the project was ceremonially introduced in the summer of 2011, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, then deputy premier and minister for lands, welcomed the proposal and predicted that Cabinet would approve it. Approval was necessary because part of the land is public property. Another portion was in private hands.
The next permission required was that of the Department of Planning.
Mr. Miller said he asked that the planning fees be waived, but he did not get a positive answer. “We have to pay government to do the project for the community,” he told residents.
There was some good news, however.
Toilet fixtures have been donated for the rest rooms, he reported.
They might not all be matching colors, he joked, but he was pleased to receive them.
The recreational area will have cabanas, as local architect Marco Whittaker envisioned in his original drawings for the site. There will be space for visitors to sit and relax and for vendors to display their crafts.
Initial plans called for two jetties parallel to the dock and a volleyball court, but these features may have been a bit too ambitious.
Even without any amenities, the dock area is frequently visited by residents and tourists who want to enjoy the sea view or photograph birds or watch boats coming in.
One part of the design that did go ahead almost immediately was the provision of a covered area on the existing dock with a shelf on each side so that fishermen could clean their catch.
With the project revitalized, work could be finished in a couple of months, but certainly by Christmas, Mr. Miller said.