Houseboat owners await development decision which threatens their community in Nine Elms, Battersea
Houseboat owners face an anxious wait to discover the fate of their floating community, which they claim could be torn apart by a Nine Elms development.
Residents of Tideway Village, a small collection of boats on the river in Battersea, have tirelessly fought to secure protection for their community after developer St James submitted a planning application to Wandsworth Council for the redevelopment of the Tideway Industrial Estate.
It detailed a proposal to create 752 new homes, a hotel, space for new shops, a café, restaurant, bar, offices, crèche and gallery on the site next to the boating community.
The consultation period over the plan finished on Friday - but not before campaigners hand-delivered a petition signed by 1,500 supporters to officers at Wandsworth Council. They also presented Mark Hunter, the planning officer responsible for this application, with a Save Tideway Village message in a bottle.
The Tideway Village community - supported by many houseboat owners from the neighbouring Nine Elms Pier - fear they could be forced out because their boats do not feature on St James’ plans.
Tideway Village resident Toby McCulloch said: “All we want is to be an integral part of the regeneration of the area. We have been an established community for 10 years on the river front.
“Removing this unique characterful pocket of London to be replaced by another soulless river front development is an outrage.”
Fellow resident and campaigner, Madeleine Treharne-Jones, said the group wrote to Prince Charles’ office asking for support. She said a representative wrote back explaining the Royal was unable to get involved with planning disputes, but wished them “all the best”.
The 27-year-old claimed St James had “not been forthcoming” about its intentions. She added campaigners were due to meet with Mr Hunter on November 9 - although a decision over the plan is not expected until early next year.
St James was unavailable for comment.
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