Broads Authority turns down St Olaves Marina expansion

St Olaves Marina had the planning application refused yesterday.

St Olaves Marina had the planning application refused yesterday. - Credit:

Proposed expansion of a busy part of the southern Broads has been turned down over safety fears.

Owners of the family-run St Olaves Marina applied to the Broads Authority to build in-water moorings at their site along the River Waveney.

The plans were to install 116m of floating pontoon moorings and 48m of piled river frontage. About 22m of this piled frontage would be demasting moorings, with the rest providing private moorings for boats up to a 3.6m beam.

But the application was unanimously refused by the planning committee yesterday.

There were worries over what impact the development would have on the ecology and landscape, as well as the issue of demasting mooring and no visitor space.

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But a key sticking-point was navigation and safety issues. Concerns were raised about how much of the river width the development would occupy.

A guideline used by rangers says no more than 25pc of the water space should be obstructed. And although the plans would reduce the river by 11 to 22pc, it was feared an area opposite the site could be used for mooring, shrinking the channel length even more.

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Stephen Johnson, chairman of the Broads Authority, said: 'Navigation safety is an area we have got to address. I would be very worried if we said that was ok in navigation terms.'

The planning applicant's niece Tamsin Bromley, 36, from Rumburgh, said the business does lot for local tourism and explained they had already made amendments to meet the Broads Authority's requirements.

But the vision has drawn criticism. Dennis Sewell, 68, spoke on behalf of Fritton with St Olaves parish council at the meeting. He said: 'Residents are seriously worried that the scheme would be disruptive and dangerous to navigation on the River Waveney at St Olaves, damaging to the riverbank environment and the wildlife which inhabits it, and detrimental to a local landscape already degraded by previous developments.'

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