Green belt marina fails need and visual tests

A 223-berth marina proposed for the Grand Union Canal in the West Midlands has been refused after an inspector found no very special circumstances to outweigh green belt harm.

The proposal would create a large artificial body of water contained by embankments and filled by boats moored to pontoons, as well as a car park, amenities building and boat maintenance area. The inspector considered that it would have an adverse effect on green belt openness.

British Waterways supported the proposal because it would provide facilities to meet future demand from boating enthusiasts. At a national level, the inspector found some evidence of a rise in the number of boat licences issued but signs of a lack of demand. A British Waterways letter to the council recognised a surplus of moorings in the area, she noted.

In her view, the appellant's need study and a survey of mooring vacancies did not indicate an urgent shortage. While some people seemed to be travelling significant distances to mooring sites, she considered this might be due to preference rather than a need for a marina at the site.

Inspector: Liz Hill; Inquiry

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