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JennyMorgan

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I am sure you can all guess my opinion by now, so let me hand you over to my wife Susie who, while I was watching James Bond on the "box" this afternoon, has written this :-

 

"If I owned a boat aesthetically pleasing enough to be considered for a private mooring on Thorpe River Green (not sure what the beauty requirements are - whether they are age, nationality or body shape related) this boat would no doubt have cost me a great deal of money to keep in good order, insure, etc. 

So why keep it in a place with no immediate services of water, pump out, fuel, electricity, refuse disposal, etc. - particularly as it looks as though the island boatyard is being deliberately pushed out of business?

No 24 hr security services.

The possibility of being tied into an impossible set of conditions, i.e. making sure my boat looks as good as its photo on the mooring application form at all times, regardless of all the daily duck deposits and the inevitable trespassing of fisher-folk sitting on the foredeck.

The possibility of reprimands from parents of duck-feeding kids when I dared to run my engine to charge my batteries and therefore make both noise and fumes.

Where, whilst sitting in or on my own property to enjoy the view I had been sold, there would be about ten times the amount of people viewing my boat, myself, guests, etc., from passing vehicles or users of the Green itself, since only side-on mooring would be possible. It would be a little like being in a goldfish bowl.

All in all why would I want to pay money to moor my pride and joy with the above total lack of facilities in order to appease those who simply want a perfect picture postcard view? (Or a perfect selfie; which can be photo-shopped anyway!)

p.s. Have there been lots of people applying for mooring berths?"

 

So Malcolm, if you claim to speak for the residents of Thorpe, here is the view of someone born in Thorpe, (in her family home) who lived in Thorpe until I married her and who still has has property on the Yarmouth Rd in Thorpe. 

 

 

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There is no reason at all why the owners of the dinghies should not hire a permanent mooring space as far as I  can see. Have any dinghy owners applied? The owner has not ever applied for planning permission for residential use. In 2005 he applied for change of use from office to residential,and new quay heading. That was not opposed by the town council, but following representations from the the environment agency about flooding Mr Wood withdrew that part  his application. The whole problem which many on here are not seeing is lack of  permission. At the price Mr Wood paid he could have probably made a modest living with the existing permisssions but he is determined to try and break the planning system. If he does he will quadruple the value of the boatyard. Would any of you want an illegal settlement of caravans to appear on the street where you live?  Do you think Mr Wood should be exempt from the rules because, like me, you do not like the B.A.?

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Personally I see the refusal to allow a liveaboard community to develop within Jenner's marina as a missed opportunity to provide a valuable, off river facility for those who have chosen, for whatever reason, to live on a boat. This could have been conditional on the removal of liveaboard boats from the river and was a golden opportunity to provide a formal, serviced and safe environment for liveaboards. Okay, so Mr Wood made no real effort to help himself, but both the Authority & the Parish Council were in a position to take a lead and it is to be regretted that neither did. 

As it is planners in general urgently need to review their policies and mind-sets in regard to the provision of genuinely affordable homes. Residential boats are an obvious and realistic route for consideration, especially within the confines of a major city. Jenner's Marina is a sadly wasted opportunity and its demise is of no great credit to any of the related authorities.

Anyway, that decision has been made, time to move on,  perhaps a more convivial attitude to the Island community could be adopted and encouraged in the future. We are talking people & people's lives here, that mustn't be forgotten. The authorities have a moral duty to be socially inclusive.

 

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Time to mention the "Elephant in the room"

Liveaboards are not the problem, it is peoples perception of liveaboards that causes all the issues and there is a logical (but not good) reason for this.

A number of these people keep their boats clean, in good order and are genuinely a credit to the community. These people are hardly ever mentioned when discussions about livaboards occur. Why not? Because nobody notices them for what they are. Their boats are seen but not recognised as homes, they are thought to be "just another boat on the broads".

Then you get the stereotyped liveaboard. This boat is dirty, covered in rubbish along with the bank beside it. Nobody wants it near them, and it's owner is considered a worthless skiver and probably dishonest too.

I don't remember how the occupants of Thorpe Island were allegedly described by someone in the BA or the council, but I do remember the description being thoroughly offensive. I also know nothing about the people who live on the island nor the general appearance of the site but all parties need to look at the island and see which camp it lies in. Typical or stereotype.

Please please please no one should take offence to the above and remember I am talking about PERCEPTIONS here.

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I hope members interested in this subject have also read the comments which follow the EDP article above, as there is interesting stuff from all sides.

10 hours ago, Stationerystill said:

There is no reason at all why the owners of the dinghies should not hire a permanent mooring space as far as I  can see. Have any dinghy owners applied?

This is not consistent with one of your other posts where you say the boat owner's request was refused by the council as they consider it is down to Roger to do this. I don't agree; I think it must be up to the owners themselves. Roger is renting them moorings on the island; not on the Green.

10 hours ago, Stationerystill said:

If he does he will quadruple the value of the boatyard.

Let's put one thing "to bed" straight away. There is absolutely no question (even to the BA) that Hearts Cruisers needs planning permission for a boatyard business which has been running without interruption for more than 150 years. That includes, of course, the mooring of boats on the quay. On the other hand, if it were still commercial and practical to run a modern boat business there, why did Richardsons decide to move out? I can't speak for Clive of course but I can for his manager, Brian Coley and his successor, Karen Labrum, who both stayed in close touch with my parents, as good friends. In their opinion Richardsons moved out because they became fed up with all the restriction and objection imposed on them in Thorpe, by the council and others. I can understand this, as the same thing happened to my parents. I think they also, were glad to sell, in the end. It is not easy to run a business on an island but it becomes impossible when the owner of the opposite bank is totally un-cooperative.

It is not relevant here but that business could have been my inheritance, in more amenable circumstances.

So I can't see how Roger will quadruple the value of that business just by gaining permission to change his office back to its original use! The Hart family lived in a bungalow on that spot ever since they left the Three Tuns pub (The Rushcutters) and moved onto the island in the second half of the 1800s and were still living there for several years after my parents bought the business. It was only pulled down in order to build (with planning permission) the office which is the very same building that Roger now wants to use as a dwelling! By the way it was built specially to resist spring tide flooding, which it has done with great success since 1953. All doorways have a high sill, all facilities such as toilets are on plinths a foot high and the whole building is on a solid concrete raft foundation. Any objection on flooding grounds is therefore spurious and on the present track record, probably deliberate.

Perhaps I am getting off the subject, which is the mooring of dinghies on the Green, but then it is not just my parents and I who moored dinghies and a launch there for 41 years : how do we suppose the Harts, who were a family of six at one time, managed to cross the river for over 100 years before us? The Green may not "officially" be a staithe but it has always been used as one, by wherries as well as other craft and for long before the railway was built. The council may own it but surely it is common land, with a right of public use? "Where sheep may safely graze" and all that.

I am afraid the council cannot suggest that a commercial business could be viable at Hearts when they have physically locked off access across the Green for deliveries (of diesel and gas for instance) which is in itself, in breach of planning law since they have denied a legitimate business access to a Trunk Road.

I have a feeling there are going to be "tears before bed-time" about this.

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3 hours ago, MauriceMynah said:

Time to mention the "Elephant in the room"

Liveaboards are not the problem, it is peoples perception of liveaboards that causes all the issues and there is a logical (but not good) reason for this.

A number of these people keep their boats clean, in good order and are genuinely a credit to the community. These people are hardly ever mentioned when discussions about livaboards occur. Why not? Because nobody notices them for what they are. Their boats are seen but not recognised as homes, they are thought to be "just another boat on the broads".

Then you get the stereotyped liveaboard. This boat is dirty, covered in rubbish along with the bank beside it. Nobody wants it near them, and it's owner is considered a worthless skiver and probably dishonest too.

I don't remember how the occupants of Thorpe Island were allegedly described by someone in the BA or the council, but I do remember the description being thoroughly offensive. I also know nothing about the people who live on the island nor the general appearance of the site but all parties need to look at the island and see which camp it lies in. Typical or stereotype.

Please please please no one should take offence to the above and remember I am talking about PERCEPTIONS here.

Entirely right, I'm afraid the Chatterbox saga, for example, did nothing remotely positive for the liveaboard community:

The Boat Chatterbox On The River Wensum,  Norwich - Norfolk.

 

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Nobody is in any way challenging the existing right to use a boatyard commercially. It is the change of use without planning which is being challenged. I think we would be delighted if a new owner took it over, tidied it up and organised it properly. I would love to have it looking the way it did when your dad ran it Vaughan, but Roger is nothing like him. I said the council could not negotiate with the residents but they do not need to negotiate with anyone to hire a mooring on the Green.

I think the debate has been stirred up by Luke Powell and his "beautiful boat" comments in the press. I sat next to him at that meeting and those words were not used.. The words used were taxed, insured, clean and tidy and a councillor asked how they would know that and the reply was by asking for a photograph. I do not think that is an unreasonable requirementin a conservation area. If Roger bought a yard for c.£240,000 without checking what planning was in force it is his problem not the rest of the community.

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Maurice Mynah, I wish I could have pressed the like button more than once. It is the perception we are up against. Whether it be a residential boat, a continuous cruiser or a private boat, if it looks uncared for people will notice it. The resi boaters that use to moor at ABC Wharf in norwich had some very nice, well maintained boats but it only takes one looking a bit tatty with a blue tarp over it and suddenly we are all scroungers. I spent the best part of my life in a shirt and tie. I still have a very nice suit but choose now to ware practical clothing or overalls. On occasions one of my boats may have a tarp over it whilst repairs take place. I know I've spent well into five figures in the last few years only some of it visible from the opposite bank. There are 2 boats currently waiting to go into the boat shed while some of the recovered sunken boats from the Jenners basin are dismantled so the bungalow end looks untidy at the moment.

 

This is drifting away from the main point of reasonable use of the green. It matters not whether the islanders live onboard or not. Neither that Mr Wood has or has not got ALL the planning permission he needs. There are boats owned by people that don't live onboard and may want to spend a long weekend working on their boat who, having made a trip say to Brian Wards and had their dinghy logged as moored only to find the next day they need to go to Norfolk Marine and the Mrs (SWMBO) tags along and the day is gone. They are now logged as either over staying or in breech of the 48hr rule. There is a grey area as to how these times are recorded. It appears the council are going to use both the bylaws and contract law to POLICE the moorings. River Green, I believe, will be the only mooring on the broads with a 48hr ruling.

Colincheers

 

whoops, I meant to post this before we went out so there have been a few posts in between.

Chatterbox was a crying shame and just proves how expensive wooden boats can be to maintain. I hope people also noticed the other boat made of various vehicle parts but did you notice the nicely kept boats.

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19 minutes ago, Stationerystill said:

Nobody is in any way challenging the existing right to use a boatyard commercially. It is the change of use without planning which is being challenged.

Thank you for that Malcolm but there is still confusion here. The only change of use in dispute is Roger's use of his office as a dwelling.

As to the boatyard moorings, Roger is in possession of a letter, which I have seen, from the BA which clearly informs him that the mooring of private boats rather than hire boats at the Hearts end of the island does not require permission for a change of use. It is still "boatyard use". This is not the same as the Jenners end, where the same BA, for reasons known only to them, decided that this would be a change of use and would need planning permission. Not very consistent of them was it? I must agree with you there!

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Colin, Chatterbox was a shame, but she also became the yardstick by which other liveaboards were judged, but she is not alone. Abandoned, sunk, even burnt out boats are not unknown on the Broads, boats that subsequently become a burden on the public purse, all too often boats that were previously liveaboards. Only very recently a boat was abandoned and burnt out near Loddon. That is what other residential boaters and the Authorities are constantly up against.

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One rotten apple and tarred with the same brush clichés come to mind. We've had a few 'bad apples' on the island but they either left when 'asked' to or in one case towed off. Unfortunately the council keep bringing up the past complaints. I just wish we could ALL look to the future.

Colincheers

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Was there a problem mooring dinghy's on the BA 24 hour moorings in the past?  If there wasn't I can see a way round this with a little more effort by the islanders. I'm sure I'll be corrected if this wrong.

Use the new 48 hour moorings and the commissioners cut moorings, a little more rowing, and bit longer walk but surely doable. Then its fingers up to the PC

Charlie

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Bound2please that all sounds good but do you know how far it is from commissioners cut to the road when carrying shopping or a gas bottle? It's a long way with a footbridge over the railway. Imagine that in the rain or snow. My wife has arthritis and I suffer from an old back injury so that is not an option. The council even suggested using horse water but couldn't give us permission to use it as they don't own it. Regardless of who actually owns it we won't block it with dinghies as the emergency services use it to launch their rescue boats. So that's why the green is so important to us. Two fingers is just going to cause more animosity. C'est la vie.

Colincheersbar

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Malcolm has made it quite clear that the Islanders have the option to hire what would effectively be a community dinghy mooring on the Green. Seems to me to be a viable and obvious option and neither party would lose face, effectively a win-win situation. To be perfectly blunt, if both or either party fails to grasp this opportunity for an amicable solution then my sympathy is likely to evaporate! Malcolm has made the first move, he deserves credit for that.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

Bound2please that all sounds good but do you know how far it is from commissioners cut to the road when carrying shopping or a gas bottle? It's a long way with a footbridge over the railway. Imagine that in the rain or snow. My wife has arthritis and I suffer from an old back injury so that is not an option. The council even suggested using horse water but couldn't give us permission to use it as they don't own it. Regardless of who actually owns it we won't block it with dinghies as the emergency services use it to launch their rescue boats. So that's why the green is so important to us. Two fingers is just going to cause more animosity. C'est la vie.

Colincheersbar

Is Malcolm speaking as an individual or as a current member of the council , if he is not a current councillor then he's no right to presume the councils thoughts on river green they well have other views those are his views and his alone not the councils .

 

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Just now, Ricardo said:

Is Malcolm speaking as an individual or as a current member of the council , if he is not a current councillor then he's no right to presume the councils thoughts on river green they well have other views those are his views and his alone not the councils .

 

Whether Malcolm is or isn't is almost immaterial since it would appear that any decision depends on cooperation between both groups rather than individuals. Should the Parish Council refuse what would be a perfectly feasible and honourable solution then they would deserve whatever condemnation comes their way. I don't see how they could reasonably refuse what is effectively a mutually beneficial outcome. 

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1 hour ago, Ricardo said:

Is Malcolm speaking as an individual or as a current member of the council , if he is not a current councillor then he's no right to presume the councils thoughts on river green they well have other views those are his views and his alone not the councils .

 

Malcolm professes to be a member of the public.

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I am speaking as an individual. I have attended most of the council meetings in the last 10 years and have wriitten a small book of the council minutes. I have studied the council minutes for the  years since 1895 as it interests me. I am also working on historical archives relating to Thorpe. I have had training in planning matters and been a chairman of a different Town Council. I am also a boat owner and member of the Broads Society hence my interest. The big change is because the Broad Authority terminated their long term lease on the quay which was a full repairing lease. The B.A. were paying for the maintenance and this was charged to all the boat toll payers. The  Town Council did not want them to terminate the lease as the cost of the maintenance is substantial and are now seeking to recover some of the cost involved. My suggestion was merely an idea which might help. I could moor my boat legally on the island, but I could not legally live there. The arguments put forward on this topic are a repeat of those from the other end of the island  which the courts rejected.

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49 minutes ago, Stationerystill said:

I am speaking as an individual. I have attended most of the council meetings in the last 10 years and have wriitten a small book of the council minutes. I have studied the council minutes for the  years since 1895 as it interests me. I am also working on historical archives relating to Thorpe. I have had training in planning matters and been a chairman of a different Town Council. I am also a boat owner and member of the Broads Society hence my interest. The big change is because the Broad Authority terminated their long term lease on the quay which was a full repairing lease. The B.A. were paying for the maintenance and this was charged to all the boat toll payers. The  Town Council did not want them to terminate the lease as the cost of the maintenance is substantial and are now seeking to recover some of the cost involved. My suggestion was merely an idea which might help. I could moor my boat legally on the island, but I could not legally live there. The arguments put forward on this topic are a repeat of those from the other end of the island  which the courts rejected.

Really Malcolm the argument's are the same seriously ? They are nothing like the same the guys on the river green end have been quietly doing what they have done for yrs and as you quite rightly said have got planning .

At the end of the day what needs to prevail here is common sense by both party's , is it too much to ask that both party's can discuss the problem's and find a solution that both party's are happy with ? Or is that expecting too much these days . 

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