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Rafts Boathouses in Eton to be developed

Rafts Boathouses development in Eton given the go ahead

Justin Burns

Rafts Boathouses in Eton to be developed

Historic boathouses in Eton will be developed after planning permission was given by the Royal Borough last night.

The Rafts on the banks of the River Thames in Brocas Street, used by Eton College rowers since 1899 - are to be partly demolished to make way for homes.

Members of the Royal Borough's urban development control panel rubber-stamped plans at the Windsor Guildhall.

College chiefs and Bewley Homes will build 13 homes varying in size by demolishing sections of the site, while maintaining the 1899 built River House.

Some Eton residents have vehemently campaigned against the proposals since they were first submitted in June 2010.

Speaking at the meeting Anthony Allison, of the Brocas Residents Group, said residents opposed it due to the 'loss of history' and negative effect on parking and traffic.

Members supported a proposal for work to start after the Olympics so a building site can not be seen on the river, but council officers said developers are planning on starting in October.

As part of the development £67,000 will be given towards improving the Meadow Lane Car Park, while the River Thames will now be open for public access via Brocas Street.

Philip Tilbury, of Eton College, said the development will provide ''substantial' public benefits, through improvements to Brocas Street, the river use and an enlarged square.

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