A boathouse has been moored illegally in West Molesey for so long that it has now appeared on Google Earth.

Your Local Guardian:

The boat pictured on the river in West Molesey

Moored by the Sadlers Ride slipway for about six months, the four-bedroom vessel’s presence has ignited anger in residents after a rise in reports of human and canine excrement created along the towpath.

Jill Sanders, a nearby boat owner, noted there were other illegally moored boats along the river and said: “People who have their own boats can’t stop anywhere all up the river.

“We just want a resolution to this illegally moored boat.”

The owner of the barge, Alistair Trotman, defended his settlement on the website Friends of Hurst Park, a community group based by the river.

He said he now had a 2015 river licence and that his barge was “fully comprehensively insured through Euro marine, despite the fact that non powered barges are only required to have third party insurance”.

Nick McKie-Smith, waterways enforcement manager from the Environment Agency, said: “Earlier this month we served notice on Mr Trotman that his boat is moored on our land without our permission, and as such he is committing a trespass offence.

“We asked Mr Trotman to move his boat within 14 days. He has until Friday, October 2 (today) to comply with this request, and we hope he does so.

“If he does not, Mr Trotman is aware that our legal team will instigate civil proceedings against him through the County Court. This will enable us to take possession of the boat and remove it from our land.”