Proposals for year-round marina berths floats boats

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A MARINA could become a “dumping ground for badly converted barges” if boatowners are allowed to live there all year round, it has been claimed.

Hull city councillors will decide next Tuesday whether to allow Hull Marina to have residential berths for the first time.

Under British Waterways Marina Ltd’s proposals, a tenth of the 300 moorings would be available as residential lettings on Railway Dock, next to the Holiday Inn.

But a neighbour in upmarket Kingston Wharf, which overlooks the Marina, has written to planners to complain, saying it “will become a dumping ground for old, badly-converted barges which are poorly-maintained and will make the Marina look an eyesore.”

BWML says there is an increasing demand for all-year berths and they would spread them out throughout Railway Dock.

They say: “The moorings would be occupied by a mixture of narrowboats, yachts and wider barges. As such the residential boats would be indistinguishable from the existing leisure craft within the marina and on the canal.”

Planners at Hull Council are recommending approval of the plans - with a condition preventing sheds, washing lines and other domestic paraphernalia from cropping up on the boats.

The moorings would be serviced by the same facilities as the existing non-residential moorings “and for all intents and purposes would be indistinguishable from other moorings.”

There has been a letter of support from another resident at Kingston Wharf in support, claiming it will make the Marina “more vibrant.”

BWML believes there is a shortage of between 12,000 and 15,000 residential berths throughout the country.

The costs haven’t yet been set, but it will be more than the £3,000 annual cost for a leisure berth.

Customer services manager for the north Sarah Broker said: “It can be a bit of a cheaper option for people. The Marina in Hull is in a very attractive location. It is so close to the city centre and you get beautiful views.

“It’s a different way of living; you can have the best of both worlds - you can reside on a boat and have peace of mind and you can also get onto the waterways quickly. It is a wide demographic - young people with families and retired people.”