House dismissed as not river-related development

An unusual proposal for a permanent dwelling suspended on a frame over a small disused inlet of the river Thames in an area of dense mixed riverside development within a London Borough was denied permission by an inspector.

Local policy limited development in the area to river-related development. A previously allowed appeal had granted outline permission for a houseboat on the site, and the appellant claimed this established the general principle of residential development in this location. The appellant also suggested that as the current scheme would provide mooring beneath the house, it reflected the policy principles of restoring or enhancing river infrastructure and met a requirement to provide adequate waterborne servicing for river-related development. The inspector disagreed, finding the mooring very restricted and suitable only for small craft, and no exception in policy for development not meeting all the criteria, and no other exceptional circumstances to justify a permanent dwelling in this location.

The site formed part of the inter-tidal foreshore and functional flood plain of the river and whilst the inspector found the appeal scheme itself would be unlikely to be affected by flood risk, it had not been demonstrated that there would be no harm to existing tidal flood defence walls around the site from construction involving inserting six piles into the river floor in close proximity to these walls. On other matters, the inspector found no harm to the varied character of the area or river biodiversity.

Inspector: A Mageean; Hearing

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