Kew Bridge 'Pontoon of Doom' to Be Removed

Structure on the Thames was unpopular with local sports clubs


Comment on SGWL application to remove pontoon

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The jetty on the Thames near Kew Bridge is to be removed at the beginning of April after complaints from local water sports clubs.

The structure that St. George West London (SGWL) was required to put in place by Hounslow Council in 2011 as a condition of gaining permission for their luxury flat development had never been widely used. It had gained the nickname the ‘Pontoon of Doom’ due to the risk of inexperienced river users being swept under it if they misjudged the tide. It has also been described as the world’s most expensive goose toilet.

Paul Hyman of Active360, the paddleboarding club based near the site said that the Port of London Authority had confirmed to him that the structure will be removed in the week starting 2 April. They say the work required may affect the drawdock for around 4 days.

He commented, “A pontoon leaving party would be nice — brass band etc. - to say goodbye. I’m not clear about where it’s going or whether anyone has broken the news to the geese.”

The funding for the pontoon came from Section 106 money which the developer was obliged to pay as part of their application and it was supposed to be made available for local river users. The pontoon was developed in consultation with the Environment Agency and the Port of London Authority.

A spokesperson for the Berkeley Group which owns SGWL said, “Throughout 2016 and 2017, St George received feedback from various third parties, including community groups, beneficiaries, local residents and river users and the Port of London Authority (PLA), that the pontoon no longer meets the requirements of river users and should be removed.

“In response to this feedback, St George subsequently received planning permission to remove the pontoon last summer and it is to be removed in the coming weeks.”

At the time of the application Paul Hyman said that the pontoon was a waste of the section 106 money from the project which could have been used to improve Kew Draw dock and the boating arches. He commented, “This pontoon is a white elephant It has never met anyone's needs other than those of St George who used it as a feature to entice prospective flat buyers. Its location next to a listed bridge visually pollutes the area and creates an additional hazard.”

March 23, 2018

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