Policy POGIL1 Gillingham residential moorings (H. E. Hipperson's Boatyard)

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  1. Proposals for up to a maximum of five residential moorings will be supported in the area marked on the policies map subject to the following criteria:
    1. Subject to it being satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal would not compromise existing business on the site and meet the criteria in the Broads Local Plan policies on General Employment and Boatyards.
    2. It needs to be satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal would meet the criteria in the Policy PODM45 (New Residential Moorings).
    3. Proposals must ensure no adverse effects on water quality and the conservation objectives and qualifying features of the nearby SSSI (site is within SSSI Impact Zone).
    4. Development should preserve or where opportunities arise enhance the character or appearance of the Conservation Area and its setting.
    5. Cabinets and storage of any kind for those living on the boats, if required, will be kept to a minimum and sensitively designed and appropriately located.
    6. The scheme must take particular care relating to lighting in line with PODM27 (Light Pollution and Dark Skies)
    7. An assessment of the foul sewerage network to demonstrate that capacity is available or can be made available in time to serve the development.
  2. Conditions will be used to restrict the number, scale and size of boats using the residential moorings to protect navigation and control the visual appearance.
  3. Project Level Habitats Regulation Assessments will be needed to assess implications on sensitive Habitat Sites. Measures to mitigate for the recreation effects of new growth will be required (through the GI RAMS tariff or equivalent mitigation).
  4. A management plan for the site and a register of those who live on boats will be required and will be covered by a planning condition imposed on any planning permission granted.

Constraints and features

  • In a SSSI Impact Zone.
  • Flood Zone 3 (EA Mapping) and indicative 3b (SFRA 2018).
  • Beccles Conservation Area is across the river.
  • Area of good dark skies
  • The site is in the Norfolk RAMs area.
  • The site is NOT in scope in relation to Nutrient Enrichment.

Reasoned Justification

The Authority would support around five of the moorings at the H.E. Hipperson’s Boatyard being converted to residential moorings. The benefits of a regular income, as well as passive security that residential moorings can bring, are acknowledged. However, in accordance with other Local Plan policies, the conversion of an entire business to residential moorings would not be supported. The H.E. Hipperson’s Boatyard has good access by foot to everyday services and facilities in Beccles (such as a supermarket, pharmacy, school, and post office). Bus stops to wider destinations are also within walking distance from these areas.

Proposals must also take into consideration the SSSI and Conservation Area near to this boatyard.

The scheme will need to mitigate recreation impacts, and this is most easily done through paying the GI RAMS tariff.

In terms of Nutrient Neutrality, the Broads Authority consider that the sites itself is outside of the Broads SAC catchment and this scheme’s foul water would drain to a Water Recycling Centre that is not within the Broads SAC catchment and so does not need to mitigate for Phosphate or Nitrates.

Proposals will also need to show that there are adequate facilities for water supply, electricity and pump out.

The provision of residential moorings here could increase pressure for an increase in lighting; however, the impact of artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes, and nature conservation should be minimised as this area is an area of good dark skies – see policy PODM27.

It is anticipated that the moorings will be in place after 2025, by 2030.

In terms of the provision of storage and cabinets, these should be located and designed to fit in with the character of the boatyard. It may be the case that being next to the waterway for example, is not the appropriate location, but they may be better located nearer to the boatyard buildings. Any such provision will be kept to the minimum needed.

The Broads Authority has adopted a residential moorings guide which will be of relevance to this scheme.

HSE Safety in docks ACOP ( is applicable to Marinas and will set out the minimum standards expected in relation to the safety provision.

Reasonable alternative options

An alternative option would be to keep the original policy (other than amending text to add reference to GI RAMS) and not mention light pollution or storage cabinets within the policy itself.

Another option would be to not have a policy and not allocate the site, but this site was allocated in the 2019 Local Plan for the Broads and is deemed favourable in the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment and so not to allocated is not seem as a reasonable alternative.

Sustainability appraisal summary

The following is a summary of the assessment of the policy and alternative(s).

A: keep the original policy (other than amending text to add reference to GI RAMS): 3 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall positive

B: Preferred Option - amend policy to improve reference to light pollution and storage cabinets (and add reference to GI RAMS): 5 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall positive

How has the existing policy been used since adoption in May 2019?

According to recent Annual Monitoring Reports, the policy has not been used.

Why has the alternative option been discounted?

The stronger wording relating to light pollution is favoured when compared to the original to ensure the dark skies of the Broads are protected in this edge of settlement location. Also, given the impact on the character of a boatyard that storage can have, reference to that in the policy is useful. The other changes relating to GI RAMS and residential moorings policy is factual. The amendments relating to residential mooring are consistent with other residential moorings policies.