Call for London Plan revisions to boost residential boat moorings

London's key strategic planning document the London Plan should be revised to include a policy to boost the provision of residential moorings along the capital's waterways, according to a London Assembly report.

Regents Canal: 'hotspot'
Regents Canal: 'hotspot'

The report, Moor or Less: Moorings on London’s Waterways, by the assembly’s environment committee says more people are choosing to live on boats as house prices rocket.  

London has 100 miles of canals and 42 miles of the River Thames and the report estimates that in the region of 10,000 people could now be living on these.

But it says the number of moorings and facilities, such as water supply and waste disposal, has not increased in line with demand.

Key hotspots highlighted in the report include the Regents Canal, the Paddington Arm and the lower reaches of the Lee Navigation.

The report says that the current London Plan emphasises the transport function of waterways as well as its environmental, economic, heritage and neighbourhood benefits – but it does not include residential use alongside these functions.

It says the London Plan should "include the aim to provide additional residential moorings, as well as protect them, while preserving the open character of waterway corridors and protecting the diversity of uses – we are not calling for the waterways to be entirely lined with residential boats".

The report recommends that planning authorities implement the protections that the London Plan provides for waterways "more strongly" to "ensure that waterside developments enhance and do not detract from the waterways and their uses, including residential mooring use".

It also says that as waterside developments "gain value from their attractive situation by the waterway, resources could be obtained from waterside developers as part of the planning process".

Elsewhere, the report says the charity the Canal and River Trust, the successor to British Waterways, should look to increase moorings on London’s canals and should trial community moorings which would be run by a non-profit organisation.

Moor or Less: Moorings on London’s Waterways can be read here.

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