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Dart Harbour will consult on projects or policy developments with stakeholders from time to time.  We consult in line with our consultation policy, which can be found here.  Some items will be consulted via our Stakeholder Groups, or with specific stakeholders that they are relevant to.  Other items will have a wider public consultation.

We have an ongoing consultation on several documents which are frequently updated – see below for details

Current Consultations

Our Moorings Policy contains all information about how we manage the various moorings in Dart Harbour. We have had a number of editions of this policy, and we are making a significant update to this policy, taking the best elements of the various editions. As with all significant revisions to Dart Harbour Policies, we are opening this to consultation with key stakeholders.

The draft Moorings Policy can be found here

As there are a significant number of changes, we have included in section 7 a list of key alterations, and an impact assessment for each.  We have also included in section 1.2 a list of all those sections that are likely to impact a typical leisure berth holder. This document has been sent to the following for consultation:
  • Dart Harbour Commercial Users Group
  • Dart Harbour Communities Group
  • Association of Dart River Users Clubs (ADRUC)
  • Dart Estuary Forum

Due to the wide applicability of this policy, we are also opening it to wider feedback via a SurveyMonkey form which can be found on

The closing date for feedback is Monday 22nd April 2023. All feedback received by this date will be considered, and a reply will be made, explaining what changes we have made in the light of the feedback, or why we have not done so.  A summary of feedback will also be posted on our website. Note that modifications to the policy have been made following feedback from ADRUC - these are summarised in the introduction to the policy, and highlighted in red.
Our Pilotage Directions & Policy and our Towage Policy contain all information about how which vessels require a pilot, how we authorise and manage Pilots, PEC holders and towage providers, and how we uphold our responsibilities as Competent Harbour Authority.  We are making a significant update to this policy, making it much more comprehensive, particularly in its detail around how we authorise pilots.

This draft policy can be found here

As with all significant revisions to Dart Harbour Policies, we are opening this to consultation with key stakeholders. For clarity, significant changes have been highlighted in yellow.  Where an entire section is new, the heading is highlighted in yellow. This document has been sent to the following for consultation:
  • Dart Harbour Commercial Users Group
  • Port Agents using Dart Harbour including Brixham Ship Agency Services, Denholm Marine Services, GAC Services (UK) Ltd
  • All Dart Harbour Pilots & PEC Holders
  • All current Tug providers
Due to the limited applicability of this policy, other user groups will not be specifically consulted, however it will be posted in the feedback page on our website:

Feedback is invited by email to [email protected]

The closing date for feedback is Friday 22nd March 2024.

All feedback received by this date will be considered, and a reply will be made, explaining what changes we have made in the light of the feedback, or why we have not done so.  A summary of feedback will also be posted on our website.
Key Changes to these Policies:
A full rewrite, combining the following documents: Pilotage Policy (March 2021) – incorporated with minor changes Pilotage Directions (November 2016) – Rewritten for clarity, and with the following significant changes:
  • Outer zone passenger & dangerous cargo length increased from 20m to 24m
  • Passenger vessel more clearly defined
  • Length of tow more clearly defined
  • Potential of an exemption for vessels under 100m departing from range.
  • Introduction of requirements for masters of vessels
Towage Policy (July 2021) – incorporated with minor changes New sections have been added giving full details of competency requirements for a Pilot or PEC holder, including a syllabus and template certificates.  Some of these items were in the previous versions of the Pilotage Directions.
The MMO are now consulting on this project as follows:   MARINE AND COASTAL ACCESS ACT 2009 APPLICATION FOR Dartmouth Town Jetty, Yacht Club Pontoon and Dinghy Rack Modifications Notice is hereby given that Dart Harbour, Dart House, 6 Oxford Street, Dartmouth, has applied to the Marine Management Organisation under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, Part 4, for a marine licence to undertake works to modify pontoons and provide enhanced facilities for users within Dartmouth Harbour. Copies of the application and associated information may be viewed on line in the Public Register at Representations in respect of the application should ordinarily be made by: - Visiting the MMO public register at and accessing the `Public Representation? section of case reference MLA/2024/00149; However, we will also accept representations via the following formats: - By email to [email protected]; or alternatively - By letter addressed to Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7YH In all cases, correspondence must: - Be received within 28 days of the date of the first notice (1); - Quote the case reference; and - include an address to which correspondence relating to the representation or objection may be sent. The Marine Management Organisation will pass to the applicant a copy of any objection or representation we receive.  
Note that work is being undertaken on this proposal, based on feedback received, including providing a much more detailed safety, environmental, social and business case for the project.  This will be published in due course, in summer 2024.  At this point, a further opportunity for feedback from stakeholders will be provided before the Dart Harbour board makes a decision on whether to progress with this project.
Join the cruise ship conversation
We are developing plans to grow the cruise business in Dartmouth, detailed below.  We’d love you to share your experience, ideas and concerns, and help us understand how our plans can best be shaped to benefit Dartmouth. We have an online survey at , and you are also welcome to come and chat about this proposal in the harbour office, to email [email protected] or to attend our workshop on 31st August at 18:30 in the Dartmouth Guildhall.
2023 has seen around a dozen cruise calls in Dartmouth, as well as many other large vessels such as tall ships and superyachts.  We have had many positive comments about the spectacle of larger vessels in the river, with lots of people out and about on the quaysides and taking pictures.  We also had questions as to why larger ships needed to remain at anchor outside the river.
Dart Harbour would like to encourage more cruise ships to visit Dartmouth, by reinstating a former mooring for mid-sized cruise ships to the south of the Lower Ferry, which we are calling MS-0 buoy.  This mooring was last used in the 1970s. Ships will enter the river stern-first with pilot and tug assistance, and will moor their stern to the new buoy, with their bow held in place with the ship’s anchors.  A similar technique is used in Fowey and works well.  The ships will tender ashore to the Town Jetty as today.
This will lead to around £3 million annual benefit to the local area by 2030, when we would expect to have around 20 cruise ships using the mooring per year. Businesses such as shops, cafes and ferries have told us about increased revenue on cruise ship days, and we believe this will continue to increase with more ships, with benefits also being felt by tourist attractions, marine businesses, tour guides and transport providers amongst others.  We plan to have a ‘Cruise Forum’ meeting regularly to help local businesses make the most of cruise ships.
We do not want to overload the town, and will have controls in place on the size of ship, number of calls per year and the environmental impact.  Cruise calls tend to be outside of the peak school summer holidays, when the town has plenty of space, and cruise passengers do not use up parking spaces or housing in the town, so they are an ideal fit for Dartmouth.  By 2030 we would hope to be bringing around 25,000 cruise passengers to the town annually – around 10% of the number that arrive by steam train.  We will have a passenger limit to prevent overcrowding.
Contrary to common belief, cruise ships do not pollute the water in ports, with no discharges of waste.  They do have a significant carbon footprint, but the industry is making great strides to reduce this, and the more modern ships we would be attracting are much more efficient.  CO2 is a global rather than a local pollutant, so the impact on Dartmouth would be no different to if the ship was in a different port.  For many people, large ships in the harbour enhance the views of this vibrant port, whilst others may be concerned.  The location we have chosen for MS-0 buoy will minimise the impact on views, and we will also limit the total number of calls per year.
We are carrying out simulator trials, and expect that ships of up to around 250m in length (as shown in above composite photo) will be able to use the harbour safely, and without significant impact on other river users or the local community.  The manoeuvre to the new mooring is expected to be somewhat simpler than to the current mainstream moorings, and the water is much deeper.  There will still be ample space for other boats to pass, and only two yacht moorings in this area will be impacted.  We won’t allow cruise calls on this mooring during regatta, or RDYC regular scheduled racing without the agreement of the clubs involved.
Dart Harbour is a trust port – we don’t make any profit, but instead re-invest in operating and improving the Dart Estuary.  The income from these ships will help with this work – at around £300,000 per year by 2030 we would expect this income to make up around 15% of our annual budget.  We plan to ring fence some elements of this additional income for use on environmental projects on the Dart Estuary, and as contributions to the Dart Harbour Communities fund, which is used to help support organisations encouraging young and disadvantaged people to experience the river and its surroundings.  More larger ships also increases our resilience, diversifies the harbour, and increases our team’s skill.
This page is a brief summary of our plans – if you would like further details there is more information in this document. Cruise-Ships-In-Dartmouth.pdf 
Join the cruise ship conversation
Share your experience, ideas and concerns, and help us understand how our plans can best be shaped to benefit Dartmouth.

Waste management plan.

Document found here. Our waste management plan contains information that is required by the MCA. The plan lays out the waste reception facilities we have within the harbour, as well as those for other berthing areas. The waste reception facilities should be adequate to meet the needs of vessels using the port, without causing undue delay. The plan must be submitted to the MCA for approval and must be reviewed by the local Marine Office every three years or with every significant change. This plan will be sent to them following consultation.
Key Changes to this plan:
A major rewrite of the previous plan, with the following significant changes:
  • More consultees added.
  • Current and future waste data information included.
  • Charges for international catering waste included and explained.
  • Hierarchy of waste added.
  • Voluntary actions added with target dates set as the next plan renewal date.
The closing date for feedback is Sunday the 31st  of March 2024. Feedback can be sent to [email protected] 
All feedback received by this date will be considered and a reply made, explaining what changes, if any, have been made in the light of the feedback.A summary of feedback will also be posted, following the closing date on this page.  

Rolling Consultation

Our Marine Safety Plan and Navigational Risk Assessments are living documents, that we update on a regular basis whenever new information comes to our attention. As such, we believe that it makes sense to implement a rolling consultation for these documents, without a deadline. If you have any comments, concerns or suggestions regarding these documents, we'd ask you to complete the below form, and we will consider your suggestion and make updates as relevant. We will also ask for the opinions of our stakeholder groups on a regular basis during their scheduled meetings for these documents and bring any significant changes to their attention. The latest edition of Our Marine Safety Plan can be found here. An introduction to our Navigational Risk Assessments can be found here, whilst individual assessments are located here. If you would like to respond to these consultations, please click here for the response form

Historic Consultations

Double Steps pontoon is one of the busiest parts of Dartmouth Harbour. It is used as the main boarding point for the Dittisham Ferries, Yacht Taxi and Hire Boats, as well as being a short-stay berthing facility for dinghies. It is located in a navigationally cramped area – squashed between the northern end of the Town Jetty, the entrance to the Boatfloat and the southern end of the NE trot, with large numbers of vessels of all sizes going too and past it. The existing pontoons are mainly life expired or of a temporary nature. In 2021 Dart Harbour undertook a consultation process, to evaluate four potential options (3,4,5 & 5a – see diagrams below). As discussed below, the consultation responses were overwhelmingly positive, however there were some significant concerns raised. Covid, and internal issues have delayed our development of this project, however we have now put together a final design that we believe is a good compromise, and which addresses almost all of the issues that the consultation raised. Details of the consultation and final implemented plan can be found here
A review of our waiting list was carried out in 2020.  Details of this review can be found here:
Dart Harbour carried out extensive consultation whilst producing the new strategy (which can be found here) The results of the consultation can be found here: