A group of liveaboards could be waiting up to four years for a new residential mooring on the Thames after being given notice at their current site

As many as 20 liveaboards are faced with the prospect of having nowhere to go, after receiving notice on their riverside moorings on the Thames.

The group of flybridge cruisers, narrow boats and Dutch barges have been at Willows Riverside Park in Windsor for more than nine years, but were last week given two months to vacate their moorings.

Haulfryn Group Ltd, who own the site, informed boaters of their plans to install 18 to 19 residential houseboats. The moorings are let to the current residents on annual agreements that are subject to 42 days notice.

Princess 385 owner Ross Savage has rented one of the residential moorings at the park for almost a decade and was “gutted” to receive the notice letter.

Speaking to YBW.com, the 39-year-old said: “The problem we now have is that there are no other residential moorings available on the upper Thames. There are waiting lists for everywhere that does exist, so we’re now in a situation where we’ve got 20 boats that have nowhere to go.

“Riverside moorings are very, very difficult to come by. The demand is so high and there’s so few of them, it’s neigh impossible.

“For just one or two boats, it’s a problem that could be absorbed, but suddenly having 20 residential liveaboards with nowhere to go is a bit more of an issue.”

Unofficial liveaboards on the Thames have already proved problematic, with boats closer to London continuously having to be moved on.

As a short-term solution, some of the group at the park are looking into taking up moorings at local marinas.

Meanwhile, high demand for residential moorings in the area could see the boaters waiting up to four years for a new site.

In a statement, Haulfryn Group Ltd said: “I can confirm that Haulfryn are considering redeveloping the moorings at The Willows subject to all the necessary planning consents.”

“Our plans include the development of 18 to 19 ‘houseboats’ which will be sold for owners to use as either residential or holiday accommodation. This is an extremely exciting scheme, which we expect to greatly enhance the park for both the company and all our existing owners.

“Currently the moorings are let to boat owners on annual agreements which are all subject to 42 days’ notice by either party. Whilst this six-week period is intended to give enough time for an alternative mooring to be found, we decided to give 2 full months’ notice. We also offered help with the practicalities, if required.”

A local marina in the area reiterated the message that residential moorings are extremely hard to come by and advised those affected head towards London, though this is likely to see increased costs.

  • petersmith

    Total non-story. “People served notice on place where they live” is the headline. Not exactly great reading. When you investigate further, you discover they have 6 weeks notice as the contract-specified period (two weeks more than people typically get living in rented accommodation) and that in fact the landlords in this case gave them a full two months notice, more than legally required. So what exactly is the story?
    Add to that the fact that these people are boat owners, so they’re not exactly thrown out on the street by their landlord, but simply moved somewhere else. If your landlord throws you out of your flat, you’ve got a month to find somewhere else or you’re on the street. These people can motor down river and find somewhere else to moor up. It’s not exactly hardship, although it might seem like that on the Thames, I dunno. Probably when everyone else is living in £1m properties overlooking the water, you do feel like the poor kid getting kicked out of the party.
    Either way, no story. What is this *about* exactly? What is supposed to have happened here that makes this newsworthy?

  • Shane Kennedy

    p { margin-bottom: 0.25cm; line-height: 120%; }

    EUHR Article 1:

    Every natural or legal person
    is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions. No one
    shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest…

    Article 8:

    1 Everyone has the right to
    respect for his private and family life, his home and his
    correspondence.

    2 There shall be no
    interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right
    except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary
    in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public
    safety or the economic well being of the country, for the prevention
    of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for
    the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

    Quotes from EUHR cases:

    Home is the physically
    defined place where private life and family life develops. It does
    not matter whether this space is the property of the affected person
    or even legally inhabited. The notion may also encompass business
    premises, temporarily inhabited spaces or caravans.

    Interferences with one of
    the rights protected by Article 8 paragraph 1 ECHR can only be
    justified if they are necessary in a democratic society. This means
    that the interference has to respond to a pressing social need. The
    Court grants signatory states to the Convention a certain margin of
    appreciation when balancing the interests of the affected individual
    with the interest of society in the interference (Colon v The
    Netherlands, para 86 – 87;), for the national authorities are
    better positioned than an international court to assess the social
    developments and possible implications. However, the Court exercises
    control whether the contracting states have overstepped the
    boundaries of their margin of appreciation.

    In a first step, it should
    be established whether there is an interference with the right to
    private life, familiy life, home or correspondence. To this end, it
    has to be established whether a certain measure, action or omission
    (see below) falls within the scope of one of the interests, which
    Art.8 para 1 protects, and whether it has some impact on the way in
    which the rights can be exercised, whether it limits the extend to
    which the right can be enjoyed.

    Then it should be
    scrutinized whether this interference is justified pursuant to Art.8
    para 2 ECHR.

    When assessing whether a
    certain conduct on the part of the state falls within the scope of
    Art.8 ECHR, it should be borne in mind that Art. 8 – as the other
    articles of the Convention – entails positive obligations.
    Contracting states do not meet their obligation to secure the rights
    enshrined in the Convention (see Art. 1 ECHR) by simply refraining
    from interferences. They can also be obliged to actively employ
    certain measures with a view to ensuring that the Convention rights
    become effective. Measures states have to take to meet their
    positive obligations may include, (but are not limited to) passing
    legislation in order to ensure the enjoyment of rights guaranteed in
    the Convention, conducting effective investigations in cases of
    alleged violations of human rights or ensuring that factual
    conditions for exercising rights are met.