Brentford Marina Plan Could Mean Eviction of River Dwellers
Over twenty houseboats would go if scheme approved
A plan for a new marina in Brentford beside Watermans Park could lead to the eviction of the existing houseboat dwellers if it gains approval.
The £5.45 million scheme is due to be considered at a Council meeting next week (9th September). It is proposed to provide berths for 26 craft at the site.
Artist's impression of scheme
The Council claims that the current occupants have no right to be there and plan to remove them to allow construction to start on the marina which would open in 2017. The marina would be owned by the Council who would share mooring fees with the Port of London Authority (PLA).
Council leader Steve Curran said, "The proposal also aims to create a positive cash return allowing the Council to reinvest funds into vital services for residents. We also have a duty to ensure all vessels are licensed to ensure this stretch of the river is properly maintained and safe for residents to use."
The position of the boats at the site has been the subject of legal dispute for some time and the Council now say they will be subject to removal even if the plan is not approved. The boat dwellers claim that the site has been continuously occupied since the seventies but some locals contest this saying that there have been periods when no boats were present for extended periods. Complaints have also been made about raw sewage from the boats being discarded into the river and the general appearance of the area.
Some of the existing boat dwellers have expressed a willingness to pay mooring fees and Council tax if their position is regularised but they have received no response from the Council who have also given no commitment to give existing occupants preference in the allocation of berths at the new marina.
September 5, 2014