jillR Posted March 13, 2010 Share Posted March 13, 2010 Houseboats and Residential Craft Houseboats and boats used as permanent dwellings The Broads has status equivalent to a national park, and part of the Broads Authority's responsibility is to maintain both the landscape beauty and the conservation value of the area. The Broads is a popular area for visitors, who come to enjoy its special qualities and character, and for those who live and work here. The value that both visitors and residents make to the local community is valued. Because of its special qualities, people sometimes wish to combine living in The Broads with an enjoyment of the water, and ask about living on a boat. Experience shows that the appearance of houseboats and residential craft, together with the associated use of the river bank, can sometimes be damaging to the character and appearance of The Broads. Residential use of boats also tends to create a demand for facilities that are often inappropriate in a rural riverside setting, such as provision of water and pump-out facilities, or boardwalks to provide safe footing on soft ground. There is also an increased risk of pollution, particularly if these facilities are not provided, and damage or disturbance to wildlife. Given the special character and importance of The Broads, it is considered that the use of residential craft is inappropriate unless these problems can be avoided. Current planning policy on residential moorings The permanent mooring of a residential houseboat is development that requires planning permission. Our planning policies do not currently permit any further houseboats or the use of craft for residential purposes. There are a number of existing houseboats within The Broads that have been established over a number of years, with concentrations in locations including Horning, Hickling, Wayford Bridge and Oulton Broad. Some of these are particularly intrusive and we will continue to seek their removal. This is normally done by negotiating their removal, possibly to a less intrusive location. We will also take prompt and effective action where there is use of a residential boat without planning permission, and this may result in enforcement action or a prosecution. Review of development policies Our development policies, including those relating to new residential moorings, are currently under review as part of the preparation of our Development Policies DPD. The review is considering the possibility that in future, new residential moorings may be permitted in limited circumstances where all the above issues and other sustainability matters are adequately addressed. No change in policy is planned until the Development Policies DPD is adopted, sometime in 2010. Until that time, the existing restrictive policy, as set out in the Broads Local Plan, will continue to be applied. It should be noted that the Broads Authority does not plan to provide residential moorings and is not compiling a waiting list for moorings. In the event that any new policy is adopted, it will be up to boat or land owners to provide a site and apply for planning permission, demonstrating that the requirements of that new policy are met. For more information on the policy review and preparation of the Development Policies DPD, contact the Planning Policy Officer on 01603 610734 or by email to: LDF@broads-authority.gov.uk. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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