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Neighbours object to boat park's plan for 19 houseboats in Willows Riverside Park

Neighbours object to boat park's plan for 19 houseboats in Willows Riverside Park

Simon Meechan

Neighbours object to boat park's plan for 19 houseboats in Willows Riverside Park

Objections have flooded in against a plan to redevelop a riverside boat park and add 19 houseboat moorings on the site where long-moored boaters have been evicted.

Photo by Wisdom Da Costa

 

Haulfryn has applied to replace its 33 boat moorings at Willows Riverside Park with 19 moorings for floating, purpose-built 14 metre by seven metre stationary ‘houseboats’.

Its planning statement says: “The proposal is to replace the existing 33 houseboat/leisure boat moorings with 19 purpose designed moorings to accommodate 19 high quality single-storey houseboats.

It adds: “The proposal involves a reduction in the number of houseboats located on the Moorings at Willows Riverside Park, the proposals will significantly improve the visual appearance of the river bank.”

It says the new houseboats will be more sustainable, and less ‘unsightly’ than the existing boats moored or previously moored there.

In June, 17 boaters were evicted from the site, some having lived there for 15 years. Neighbours have objected to the development.

Jennifer Elwood, who lives in Dee Road, in Willows Riverside Park, has complained about the scale of the proposed houseboats.

She writes: “The visual impact of this proposal will in effect be a solid wall of four metre high structures covering the whole river front. My personal opinion is the bulk of them can only be likened to ship containers with windows.”

“My understanding of the definition of ‘moorings’ would have to be navigable craft. These structures can in no way be described as boats of any sort.”

Neighbour Susan Prater agrees with the complaint. In her objection, she wrote: “With only one metre between each home this will block my view of the river and allow no access at all even for the emergency services.”

Pauline Lambert, of Thames Road, wrote that she is ‘mortified’ about the ‘desecration’ of the riverside. The borough expects to make a decision by Thursday, August 6.

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