TWO new houseboats will arrive in Bembridge Harbour next month...and two more are to be given a free wastewater upgrade.

The new boats are currently held up at Portsmouth awaiting the availability of tugs, and also a suitably high enough tide for entry into the harbour.

Each one is approximately 20 metres long and has four bedrooms.

In December, after three years of negotiation, planning approval was given for the two new houseboats.

Harbour owners Fiona and Malcolm Thorpe announced in September 2016 a commitment to installing, free of charge, sewage treatment plants or holding tanks to those houseboats that still pump sewage onto the seabed.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The harbour authority says this is the first phase of a total investment of around £35,000 to install facilities into those houseboats currently without them.

The plant required for these first two installations is now in the process of being manufactured.

Since 2011, when the Thorpes purchased the harbour, it has been a requirement for all new houseboats to have their own systems. However, not all the existing houseboats are so equipped.

This initiative relied on planning consent for new houseboats being given by the local planning authority.

The harbour authority has been working the reformed houseboat association, whom they requested to nominate two houseboats who wish to accept the free of charge installations.

"This will help to improve the quality of the water in the harbour."

Jenny Metcafle, Seahorse houseboat

Initial surveys and installation detail have now been agreed with both owners, a contractor has been nominated, and orders have been placed with Biodigester to supply both plant systems.

Isle of Wight County Press:

One of the new houseboats

Delivery should be early to mid-June to allow the installations to be completed as soon as possible.

Tony Witt, owner of houseboat Heyvon, “We are extremely pleased the harbour have chosen to install a bio system on our houseboat. We thank all those involved.”

Jenny Metcalfe from Seahorse: "It’s very nice that the harbour company are installing the biodigester for us. This will help to improve the quality of the water in the harbour."

Malcolm Thorpe said he was delighted to finally be able to take this forward:

"It has taken an exceptionally long time to achieve the necessary approvals, but this initiative will be of real benefit to the houseboats and all harbour users and I am looking forward to achieving further approvals in the future.”