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Planning application for house boats at Willows Riverside Park withdrawn

Planning application for house boats at Willows Riverside Park withdrawn

Hannah Crouch

Planning application for house boats at Willows Riverside Park withdrawn

A campaigner against plans to build stationary house boats along the River Thames says the first battle has been won as the application was withdrawn today.

Put forward by Lambe Planning and Design Ltd, the application proposed replacing 33 residential and leisure boat moorings at Willows Riverside Park, Water Oakley, with 13 purpose-built stationary houseboats.

Tais Oliveira, who lives in the park, has been campaigning with others against the application since she first became aware of it in February.

“When it started, the whole thing was about how it would ruin the views of the River Thames but in the end the more we dug into the application we found out there was environmental hazards as well,” she said.

“From my perspective, we have put so much effort into fighting this application and I cannot even express how happy I am.

“I have been amazed at the responses and reactions we have got from people.”

A decision on the application was expected to be given by the Royal Borough on September 10 and last month the Willows Riverside Action Group launched a petition to drum up support.

A total of 255 signed the petition which argued the plans would ‘destroy the openness of the river' and have an impact 'on the setting and character of the Thames’.

Aside from objections from residents, the Environment Agency (EA) said the application failed to carry out suitable tests to assess the flood risk.

Despite the application being withdrawn, Tais believes the developers will try again.

“This is just the first battle,” she added.

“But at least now it gives us a bit more time so I can sit down and recollect everything so we are prepared for the next battle.”

Jeremy Lambe, of Lambe Planning and Design Ltd, said: “The application has been withdrawn to enable time for further consultations to take place with the Environment Agency and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council for a revised proposal to be prepared for re-submission.

“With the consultation lead times required, these would not have taken place in time for the council's planning panel meeting in early January.”

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