Development on Broads river deemed “unacceptabe” over safety concerns

Concerns have been raised over a new pontoon which encroaches into the navigable area of the River B

Concerns have been raised over a new pontoon which encroaches into the navigable area of the River Bure at Barnes Brinkcraft. Picture: Broads Authority - Credit: Archant

A Broads hire boat company's development on the River Bure that deviated from approved drawings has been deemed 'unacceptable'.

The Broad's Authority's planning committee said the unauthorised development at Barnes Brinkcraft in Hoveton, which extended into the navigable area of the river, could pose a danger to other water users.

At a meeting earlier this month, committee members said the encroachment of the unauthorised development into the navigation area 'was deemed unacceptable for reasons of health and safety issues'.

The site is located just south of Wroxham Bridge.

Planning officer Tony Risebrow described the section of river that was affected as a 'fairly busy piece of water'.

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Broads Authority officers said planning permission for the replacement of 158m of quay heading, removal of 280 square metres of land, installation of pontoons, widening of access track and the removal of a storage shed at the site was granted in July.

A report on the matter stated that work had started in September, but had not been completed in accordance with the planning permission.

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It said one of the issues was that a pontoon had been located approximately 4.2m closer to the river than proposed on the approved drawing.

Concerns were raised that when moored stern-on, large hire boats would stick out into the navigation area of the river.

While members of the planning committee welcomed continued investment in the site, the committee said the matter needed to be rectified before the start of the holiday season.

Broads Authority officers have been authorised to negotiate with Barnes Brinkcraft a restriction on the length of boats mooring at the site, an agreed mooring configuration, management of the pontoon, and the reduction in size of a spit of land which was extended.

Officers have been asked to provide a verbal update on the matter at the next planning committee meeting on February 2.

Barnes Brinkcraft managing director Matthew Thwaites said there was a 'chronic' shortage of moorings in Wroxham and they had invested £1m in the moorings.

'Our architects will be meeting with the Broads Authority to find a way forward,' he said.

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