MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been lodged to regenerate a harbour gateway on Portland.

Nemesis Properties has submitted a planning application to build workshops, storage units and holiday flats in a move that bring a much-needed economic boost to Castletown.

The proposal aims to transform the former Copine premises on Castletown Pier in a new development called Crabbers Wharf.

The premises have remained vacant for some years but were previously used for the processing of shellfish.

Castletown has been in a period of decline since the Royal Navy left Portland although it has been a popular centre for recreational diving.

Nemesis Properties is owned by Derek Luckhurst who is also owner and chairman of care provider AginCare.

He said he wished to refresh regeneration efforts in Castletown.

In May, AginCare spent nearly £2m to turn the Admirality Buildings in Castletown into its new headquarters. This brought 50 jobs into the area.

Mr Luck-hurst said: “The intention with Crabbers Wharf is to bring some maritime commercial activity back to the area.

“It will create new jobs and focus existing jobs and services into the Castletown area. That in turn as a consequence will breathe life into the Castletown area, which has really been in the doldrums since the navy pulled out.

“It’s quite exciting to imagine in a couple of year’s time how Castletown might look with the increased footfall.”

Mr Luckhurst revealed a large majority of the marine workshop units had already been earmarked for businesses.

He said: “I did anticipate there would be some strong interest.

“Crabbers Wharf is actually quite unique.

“The fishing vessels can come alongside their maritime units, unload their catch, and send them into the town when there will be access for vehicles to transport their catch to the market.”

Mr Luckhurst added he was also looking to encourage divers and holidaymakers to come back to the area.

Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Cllr Kate Wheller, who lives in Castletown, said she hoped any potential development would attract more people.

She said: “I’m very pleased with the application. I think it’s a good thing and I look forward to looking at the application in greater detail.”


  • People are able to comment on the application until Thursday, November 20 when it will then go forward for consideration to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.
  • As part of the application, it is envisaged the potential holiday accommodation will be attractive to groups participating in active marine water sports activities in and around Portland.

Alistair Bayliss, manager of Hotel Aqua, based in Castletown, said: “I think the plans look wonderful. I think anybody who’s looking to bring money and people into the area we would welcome that wholeheartedly.

“It will be competitive but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. The market is quite big and we are not necessarily competing with the same market.”