Row over Limehouse Basin berths

COMMUNITY groups have slammed plans to build dozens of new berths at Limehouse Basin, branding it “overkill” of an already jam-packed marina.

British Waterways Marinas Ltd (BWML) is set to install 44 new berths in the basin, an increase of almost 50 per cent, it was revealed this week.

The plan comes on the back of a water taxi service which will run from the basin to the Olympic site.

Community groups claim they had originally agreed to the taxi service and around five new berths.

But they’ve now been told 44 berths will be built by March next year, with no extra facilities or chances to object.

Chairman of the Limehouse Community Forum (CLF), Mark Slankard, said: “They want to add 44 new berths without one new toilet or shower.

“There’s also the issue of crime prevention – there’s no extra security fencing, CCTV or lighting to cope with this.

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“This is overkill and there’s absolutely not enough infrastructure for it. There needs to be a guaranteed plan from them on how they’ll deliver the facilities for this. What’s going on isn’t what we were approached with and agreed to.”

The CLF is now due to meet with Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick on Thursday to discuss the plan.

BWML, which leases the marina from British Waterways, is a quango and under no obligation to consult with residents.

It also claims the current four toilets, four showers and some disabled facilities already meet national guidelines.

A spokesman from BWML said: “Whilst BWML is not obligated to hold a consultation on this proposal, as a matter of course the company does endeavour to give both its customers and any other parties affected by such developments as much notice as possible of such improvements. In this case the notice period was limited for a number of reasons, including a delay in securing funding for the project.

“All BWML marinas conform to The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) Code of Practise in relation to the design, construction and operation of its marinas. The facilities available to marina customers (toilets, showers, laundry, domestic waste disposal, marina lighting etc) both presently and upon completion of this project conform to these guidelines.

“The security and aesthetics of the marina/moorings has been carefully considered.

The main pontoons/walkways will be sited three metres from the marina wall (therefore negating the requirement for fencing) and there will be just two additional access entrance ways similar to the current one on the south side of the marina.”

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