Policy POSOM1: Somerleyton Marina Residential Moorings

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  1. Proposals for up to a maximum of fifteen residential moorings will be supported in the area marked on the policies map, subject to the following criteria:
    1. It needs to be satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposals for residential moorings would not compromise existing business on the sites and that the proposals for residential moorings meet the criteria in the Broads Local Plan policies on general employment and boatyards.
    2. Car parking provision only in the area of the existing boatyard buildings with a suitable surface and landscaping treatment;
    3. Quay heading upgraded to a satisfactory standard of a design in keeping with the local character, prior to use as residential moorings;
    4. It being satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal would meet the criteria in the Policy PODM45 (New Residential Moorings) which will apply as the site will be treated as if it were adjacent to a development boundary;
    5. No adverse effects on trees, water quality and the conservation objectives and qualifying features of the nearby SSSI (site is within SSSI Impact Zone);
    6. 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;
    7. The scheme must take particular care relating to lighting in line with PODM27 (Light Pollution and Dark Skies); and
    8. 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.
  3. Project Level Habitats Regulation Assessments will be needed to assess implications on 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

  • Part of Somerleyton in East Suffolk Council’s Planning Area has a development boundary and two sites allocated for residential development.
  • Planning permission for a shop locally and Estate keen to provide a shop (which could potentially be linked to the pub rather than where the permission is)
  • Located within marina.
  • County Wildlife Site nearby.
  • Marina and moorings used for private rented moorings.
  • Area for car parking near to the existing buildings likely to need formalising.
  • Highways considerations including width of track and visibility splays.
  • Adjacent to/within the existing Somerleyton Conservation Area.
  • Accessed using a private road.
  • In a SSSI Impact Zone.
  • Flood Zone 3 (EA Mapping) indicative 3b (SFRA 2018).
  • Office could be converted to amenity block.
  • Strong sense of tranquillity.
  • Quay heading in parts is in need of repair.
  • Area of good dark skies
  • The site is in the Suffolk Coast RAMs area.
  • There are also a number of locally listed buildings in the vicinity, including the Duke’s Head PH and outbuildings, the Brickfields terraces, the Swing Bridge and Signal Box, the remains of the Belgian Kiln and brickworks site and the Wherry Dyke and Crown Boat Yard.

Reasoned Justification

Whilst the entire marina of Somerleyton Marina is allocated, the Authority would support up to fifteen of the moorings at Somerleyton Marina being converted to residential moorings in line with policy PODM45. 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. It is anticipated that the moorings will be in place within five years of adoption of the Local Plan perhaps by the end of 2030.

The site has good access by foot to the school and train station. The Somerleyton Estate are keen to provide a shop and believe the residential moorings will help make a shop successful.

It is important to note that the allocation of 15 residential moorings in the existing marina is not linked to any plans to extend the current marina; it is not a requirement to extend the marina to be able to accommodate these 15 residential moorings. The site owner has stated that the moorings can be accommodated through changing the format of the existing marina.

Residential moorings would increase the parking demand in the context of continued parking requirements for existing boat users of the marina. The track to the north of the existing marina is unlikely to be suitable for developing car parking as it is exposed to views, and there may not be enough space here to formalise parking and allow for turning without making significant interventions. The Marina owners have indicated that car parking could be provided through re-arrangement of how the land is used near to the existing buildings where boats are stored. Subject to detailed design considerations such as surfacing and detailed location, car parking nearer to the buildings is the Authority’s preference.

The Marina owners have stated that the existing office building would likely be converted to an amenity block for use by those living at the residential moorings, potentially containing storage, showers, and toilets. Cabinets and storage of any kind nearer to the moorings, if required, should be kept to a minimum and sensitively designed. The removal of permitted development rights might be an appropriate way of controlling undesirable build-up of domestic paraphernalia.

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 the Somerleyton area is an area of good dark skies – see policy PODM27. Proposals must also take into consideration the SSSI and Conservation Area which covers the area that could be used for car parking and storage. The Marina is within the Suffolk Coast RAMS area and therefore will need to pay a tariff for each residential mooring to mitigate impact because of recreation.

In the interests of residential amenity impacts, the number, size, and scale of boats using the moorings will be controlled using conditions attached to future planning permissions.

Proposals will need to show that there are adequate facilities for water supply, electricity, and pump out. There should also be space within the site for waste bin storage and presentation, so it is not left within the highway.

The quay heading and pontoons used to moor and access boats may need improvements and any application should address this. Any quay heading and decking should be detailed in line with the surrounding area.

Access to the site should provide adequate visibility splays (in line with DMRB standards) and the access width should be adequate to allow two vehicles to pass and accommodate large service vehicles.

Anglian Water Services have identified the need for further details relating to the estimated flow and the proposed connection point(s) to the foul sewerage network be set out in the planning application.

It is anticipated that the moorings will be in place after 2025, by 2032.

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 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 seen 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): 5 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall positive

B: Preferred Option - amend policy to improve reference to storage cabinets (and add reference to GI RAMS): 6 positives. 0negatives. 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. The other changes relating to GI RAMS is factual. The amendments relating to residential mooring are consistent with other residential moorings policies.