Watermans Marina Application Submitted
Will it work for the boats?
The London Borough of Hounslow has submitted a planning application to regenerate the waterside area of Watermans Gardens which after a month's delay has now been validated.
The proposals seek to re-provide 26 houseboat moorings of varying lengths up to 30m. Plans also include a small area for a café, car parking, storage, associated infrastructure for the riverside moorings and substantial landscaping improvements to the gardens. But there are scant details about all of this, except the parking area at the end.
The London Borough of Hounslow consulted the public on the initial proposal late 2014 and in June 2015.
The design and access statement suggests that "there is no focus to the park or any features that would attract visitors apart from its close location to areas of dense housing".
The timber walkway will be removed and replaced by a reed bed as " it is worn out and dangerous".
There will be a "new natural play area" but no details are given.
Nigel Moore, Brentford Community Council's expert on riparian matters comments as follows regarding the practicality of the proposed marina:
"From the perspective of an attractive landscaping exercise, it succeeds; whether it succeeds on practical levels is something else entirely. Lengthy analysis of river flow strengths etc is provided, with murmurings of contentment that all will be well with the ‘chevron’ design – but anyone acquainted with the ebb and flow of the Thames here will be scratching their heads as to how such a design – especially once large vessels are moored to the pontoons – can possibly be braced against incoming tides.
"Certainly, if a chevron design is to be implemented, then it was sensible to slant boats and pontoons against the greater power of the ebb, rather than the flow, but we are still talking of considerable pressures. It is possible to allow for those, but only at considerable expense on the anchoring infrastructure – and the expense of the whole exercise itself is a concern.
"In many respects, this scheme should be seen as analagous to a council affordable housing opportunity, rather than analagous to a maximum profit luxury development project.
"The more costly the infrastructure, the greater the return required, and the more obvious it is that these moorings will be available only to those with very deep pockets. This need not and should not have been the case."
October 23, 2015