Lodges fail to float council planners boat
- Credit: Archant
Planners sunk hopes of moorings at the Lazy Otter marina being used for a floating holiday home.
Annafield Ltd, who own the marina at Stretham on the Great Ouse, had applied to East Cambs Council for confirmation that their existing permissions allow for a house boat.
The council says it will need a separate planning application after setting out a legal argument justifying its position.
The Lazy Otter complex is set in 11 acres and was bought by the Gough family in 2007.
They have since sold part of the site but retain the pub and the marina.
The council says the 9.75m long, 3.65m wide, house boat would have detachable services; an outdoor motor housed on the rear deck with a steering column on the front deck would have allowed it to move.
Explaining the law, the council says the key judgement is whether a floating lodge can reasonably be considered a ‘boat’.
- 1 ‘It’s sadly coming to a natural end’ - restaurant to close its doors by August
- 2 Back garden log cabin needs permission says council
- 3 New bid for housing thwarted by Great Crested Newts
- 4 21st century agreement on future of 17th century pub
- 5 ‘It’s been very rewarding’ - Letizia amazed by support for La Strega
- 6 Daughter pays tribute to model engineer who 'tried his hand at anything'
- 7 Axing BBC TV news from Cambridge 'a backward step' says MP
- 8 Change of plan for A142 Mepal bridge works as July closures announced
- 9 Village barn struck by arsonists in 4am blaze
- 10 Explained: What the cost of living support package means for you
“If so, its mooring in the marina would not be a change of use,” says the council. “If not, its mooring in the marina would be a change of use and therefore not lawful without planning permission.”
The council assessment quotes case law which has previously found that being able to navigate a river or open area of water, both in terms of scale and propulsion/steering, goes to the heart of whether something is a ‘boat’, concluding that “not everything that floats is a boat”.
“The application states that floating lodges similar to this have been licensed by the Environment Agency as houseboats,” says the council.
But the council doubts whether the boat is intended to or would be capable of easily navigating the waterways.
“It appears to be designed to be moored up and used as accommodation," says the council.
"It is considered that the application has failed to demonstrate that the floating lodge is a ‘boat’ in a genuine and meaningful way.
“Rather it is considered that the floating lodge in question would struggle to fulfil the usual functions of what would ordinarily be considered a boat.
“The siting of the floating lodge would therefore not fall within the lawful use of the marina.
“For that reason, a certificate of lawfulness cannot be issued”