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
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.