Mystery over future of Lydney Docks
FEARS remain that the future of Lydney Docks could hang in the balance.
Speculation has been growing that site, owned by the Environment Agency, could be sold off to a private owner.
Bosses from the Government department have refused to be drawn on the rumour, insisting they are looking at every option before making any decision.
But it has not stopped people in the area from putting forward their own theories about the dock's future.
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District Councillor Terry Glastonbury (Con, Alvington, Aylburton and West Lydney) confirmed he had heard the rumours.
He said: "It's big news if it's true because I think the Environment Agency has been wanting to get rid of it.
"It needs the investment to be brought up to standard as a real tourist attraction but how true it all is, no-one's sure.
"All the buildings opposite, at the Pine End Works, are for sale too."
Mayor of Lydney, Bob Berryman had heard the rumour mentioned, but knew nothing about any possible sale bid.
However, he raised concerns about how public access to the facility, and to neighbouring areas, would be maintained under a private landlord.
Town councillor, Derek Biddle said: "I think it's been touted around for some time, but I don't think anyone knows anything about the timing of it.
"I think there are concerns on both sides, and different ones depending on who the buyer is going to be.
"The Environment Agency is scheduling a meeting soon, and I think we'll all be a bit wiser about it after that."
A Lydney resident, who did not give her name, said: "I had heard something about the docks being sold, but I'm not sure when it's supposed to happen.
"I suppose it would be okay for it to be owned by a private company, just as long as people in Lydney can still benefit from having it here."
Opened in 1813, the Docks played a key role in Lydney's economy, connecting the town with the Severn estuary and beyond.
It is now home to the popular Lydney yacht club.
The docks also provide moorings for boat owners, for a small fee.
A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said no decision had been made.
"As part of our ongoing programme, under the direction of Defra, to examine the future of all harbours in our control, we are reviewing all options for how to best safeguard the future of Lydney Harbour, including operation by other bodies," she said.