Anyone any idea what's happening at the newly-named Thames Riviera, formerly Huck's Boatyard? LBRuT planning website shows decisions been made on the planning applications, but they're not published. And the place itself has gone very quiet and empty.

Intrigued...

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Hello Bob, Hello John

Weeks? Definitely not. I'm afraid that even on Day One of the four day enquiry the inspector made it quite clear that this was quite insufficient time to deal with the business in hand, what with the complex evidence and the sheer number of witnesses for both sides; and this was before he had even considered the number of speakers from the floor. James Du Cann addressed the enquiry on behalf of the Taggs Island Residents' Association on the first day and on the fourth and final day of the first session I, along with about half a dozen interested parties spoke in favour of the council's position. I'm afraid that other than 'expert' witnesses for the appellant (I didn't catch whether they had their expenses covered) only one person spoke in favour 'from the floor'. The appellant mentioned three or more other speakers however they were busy dealing with their properties in the South West of England. It is hoped, by the appellant, they may yet speak.

What you may have missed, John, was that there is to be a second stage to the proceedings. This has now been formally announced to those who registered their attendance at the first session. It's all back down to York House for another (up to) three days of proceedings starting on May 7th.

So no reports for a good couple of months - perhaps an outline finding but no detail until June, I'd say.

Hi 

    As we all know, whats going on here has nothing to do with what the word "Boatyard" actually means.  its more like a steel fabrication yard which can be seen from the opposite side of the River or the Island. The days of calling in for a price to clean your Hull or service your Mercury are long gone. 

  A visit by a buddy of mine who recently called in for some advise about fibreglass mould, could quite clearly see 1 x houseboat looking almost complete with a new houseboat about to be fitted out, moored at 90 degrees sticking out like a sorethumb.

  This isnt what boat enthusiasts want and with the high walls that hide whats really going on.........

        Bob James

   

Gareth might know, but I'd heard the piles that had been sunk in the river, were not part of the appeal. As safety officer for the RNLI for the Thames, my view is that reducing the navigable width of the river so close to a lock and just above weir, is dangerous, particularly for unpowered craft.

The pontoons have been set directly across the stream, and the pontoons have been underwater for a week at a time when the river height and fluvial flow was at it's maximum. The design seems to have some shortcomings.

My question is, did the enforcement notice call for their removal? If so, was that within the scope of the appeal?
Hello John

Yes, this has been causing concern, and no little confusion, among interested parties.

I've checked with Bryan Staff from the Council's Development Management Team and his recollection of the hearing tallies with mine and it is as follows: The pilings DO form part of the enforcement action and subsequent appeals which have led to the enquiry HOWEVER the Inspector is unable to consider their impact upon navigation of the river as that falls outside of his remit. Issues relating to navigation on the river and impediments thereon fall within the remit of The Environment Agency.

Residents have been making their views firmly known to the latest officer with the EA, James Bates, who has been tasked with handling this issue which has now been awarded 'Priority Status'.




John C H Soones said:
Gareth might know, but I'd heard the piles that had been sunk in the river, were not part of the appeal. As safety officer for the RNLI for the Thames, my view is that reducing the navigable width of the river so close to a lock and just above weir, is dangerous, particularly for unpowered craft.

The pontoons have been set directly across the stream, and the pontoons have been underwater for a week at a time when the river height and fluvial flow was at it's maximum. The design seems to have some shortcomings.

My question is, did the enforcement notice call for their removal? If so, was that within the scope of the appeal?
Thank you Gareth for explaining where and why there is confusion - so it's not just me then!

The Environmental Agency are the statutory consultation body for the river. The representative of Richmond Borough in the appeal, was quoted at a River Users Group meeting to be "disappointed by the lack of support for the Council's position by the EA".

My view is that the reduction in the navigable channel, at a dangerous location, beyond the operational range of Teddington Lifeboat Station, is something the EA should not support. The piles, even without moored vessels, compress river traffic, increasing the risk of conflict between powered and unpowered vessels. This is just above a weir, with potentially fatal consequences for anyone unlucky enough to find themselves in the water. If this was a cake, it would be iced with "disaster waiting to happen".

In my opinion, the removal of the piles and pontoons is necessary on the grounds of safety and without them, the activities would probably be scaled back to more in line with those of a traditional boatyard and therefore more acceptable to residents too.

The EA did say at a recent River Users Group meeting that they recognise that their precious view of "supporting boatyards", may not be appropriate now, as the operations at Hampton Riviera are more like a houseboat production line, rather than a traditional boatyard with a range of services for passing boaters.

The appeal re-opens on May 7th at York House.

John

Well Friends,

What can we say, Myck's having trouble with his Piles, and in trouble with the local Constabulory seen in there today, when driving past.

  

     Any thoughts .

           Bob

Today some residents of taggs stopped a tree feller from chopping down trees on the crown land. Three at least had already been destroyed. No doubt to prepare for the current houseboat being constructed. Gareth roberts attended immediately, good one Gareth and the tree feller produced documents allegedly from the council giving permission for the trees to be chopped. Also I notice that some poor sucker has bought the smaller structure in the boatyard for in excess of 800 grand via foxtons. Re the trees is it not criminal damage?

Glad I could have helped Chris. I've emailed the council officers asking for clarification on the matter



Chris Knight said:

Today some residents of taggs stopped a tree feller from chopping down trees on the crown land. Three at least had already been destroyed. No doubt to prepare for the current houseboat being constructed. Gareth roberts attended immediately, good one Gareth and the tree feller produced documents allegedly from the council giving permission for the trees to be chopped. Also I notice that some poor sucker has bought the smaller structure in the boatyard for in excess of 800 grand via foxtons. Re the trees is it not criminal damage?

Good for you Gareth, Chris, and whoever else was there. Mick seems to believe he is totally above the law, so why doesn't the Council take steps to injunct him and at least get him to stop all he is doing to destroy the environment and endanger boaters until the planning appeal inspector has made his ruling. And what is Foxtons doing selling a property that doesn't have planning consent?!?!

Hi Gareth, like Ian I am surprised that Myck can continue wrecking the landscape and building huge houseboats in the middle of the river. Is there nothing the council can do?

Gareth Roberts said:

Glad I could have helped Chris. I've emailed the council officers asking for clarification on the matter



Chris Knight said:

Today some residents of taggs stopped a tree feller from chopping down trees on the crown land. Three at least had already been destroyed. No doubt to prepare for the current houseboat being constructed. Gareth roberts attended immediately, good one Gareth and the tree feller produced documents allegedly from the council giving permission for the trees to be chopped. Also I notice that some poor sucker has bought the smaller structure in the boatyard for in excess of 800 grand via foxtons. Re the trees is it not criminal damage?

Hello Folks

Well we've just had another three days of legal jousting down at York House as the Public Enquiry resumed on Tuesday.  The arguments have been made, the counter arguments put and closing submissions delivered. There was plenty of good stuff from the council's barrister including a full on mauling cross examination of the evidence given by the appellant's environment and planning 'experts'.

Your Lib Dem team were there each day to watch proceedings.

Now the Inspector has risen to consider the evidence and is hoping to respond 'within 5 weeks'. Though he did give the impression that, as he has something of a clear diary, he may be able to give his judgement earlier than that.

As soon as I hear any news then you can be assured I'll pass it on to you via this site

Glad to hear he has a clear diary - hopefully also a clear and powerful mind :-)

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