Floating lodges to boost tourism if council planners agree

Floating lodges could be on their way to the Lazy Otter marina at Stretham, Picture; LAZY OTTER

Floating lodges could be on their way to the Lazy Otter marina at Stretham, Picture; LAZY OTTER - Credit: Archant

Floating lodges could be introduced to the Lazy Otter marina at Stretham.

A view from above. Picture: Facebook/The Lazy Otter

A view from above. Picture: Facebook/The Lazy Otter - Credit: Facebook/The Lazy Otter

The Gough family who owns both the marina and the pub want confirmation from East Cambridgeshire District Council that floating lodges are allowed.

They hope to get a lawful development certificate to ensure they stay within planning laws.

Floating lodges have detachable service connections and typical boat tethers.

“They are also able to navigate the canal with the use of an outboard motor housed on the rear deck area and a steering column on the front deck,” says the agents.

“These are connected via cables which are housed in a cable duct hidden in the flooring running the length of the houseboat.”

The process of mooring a houseboat to an existing pontoon involves manoeuvring the vessel into place and securing it to the pontoon by rope or a chain.

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This is then connected to the electricity and water supply. “This is no different to the mooring process of any other leisure boat,” says the agents.

“It should be noted that the houseboats will not be permanently fixed to the river bed or bank and could be moved around the waterway network.”

The Lazy Otter complex is set in just under 11 acres of land, 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 business will be enhanced with the addition of the houseboat by increasing trade with overnight guests and contributing to the tourism offer,” says the family’s agent in a submission to the council.

The Lazy Otter has 47 permanent moorings and five visitors’ moorings.

Customers are not permitted to live aboard their vessels all year round but visit whenever they please, treating them as holiday homes.

The family says houseboats have previously been moored at the Lazy Otter marina and two residential moorings were included within the sale of the marina although they insist, they are not looking to apply for residential use of the houseboat.

They believe that a floating lodge is classed as a houseboat, and as such a ‘pleasure boat’ used only for holiday purposes, it therefore falls within the established use of the marina.