Policy POSTA1: Land at Stalham Staithe (Richardson’s Boatyard)

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The Boatyard as a whole (including residential moorings – see below)

  1. The land identified on the Adopted Policies Map will be subject to the policies in the economy section of the Local Plan.
  2. The peninsulas of land (as identified on the Policies Map) between the river and the mooring basins should be kept clear of buildings and large structures, and landscape planting should be provided here to protect and enhance views from the river. The type of planting will need to avoid the creation of additional wind shadowing of the river affecting its sailing value.
  3. Measures to control any risk of water pollution arising from new development will be required.
  4. An archaeological assessment is likely to be required as part of any application for any operational development.
  5. Given the location of the area, particular attention will be given to lighting schemes and light pollution in line with PODM27 (Light Pollution and Dark Skies)
  6. Any new build proposals will need to be in conformity with the Design Guide[173] (or successor document).
  7. A project level Habitats Regulation Assessment may be required to accompany proposals.

Residential moorings

  1. Proposals for residential moorings of up to a maximum of 10 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. Proposals for residential moorings should ensure there is no encroachment by those moorings into the river;
    3. Detail regarding sewerage disposal would be needed as part of a planning application;
    4. Proposals for residential moorings should locate these in the central area of the overall site to avoid impacts on adjacent residential properties and the carr woodland to the west;
    5. It needs to be satisfactorily demonstrated that the proposal would meet the criteria in the Policy PODM45 (New Residential Moorings) which will apply;
    6. Proposals must ensure no adverse effects on water quality and the conservation objectives and qualifying features of the nearby SSSI, SPA and SAC;
    7. 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;
    8. The scheme must take particular care relating to lighting in line with PODM27 (Light Pollution and Dark Skies); and
    9. An assessment of the foul sewerage network to demonstrate that capacity is available or can be made available in time to serve the development.
    10. 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.
    11. 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), so too will measures to mitigate nutrient enrichment (nutrient neutrality).
    12. 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

  • Adjacent to Stalham Staithe Conservation Area (re-appraised in 2016).
  • Part of site within Barton & Sutton Broad Archaeological area.
  • Close upstream of SAC, SPA, Ramsar, SSSI.
  • Flood risk zones 1, 2 & 3 by EA mapping and some 2 and 3a by SFRA 2017 mapping.
  • Area of good dark skies
  • The site is in the Norfolk RAMs area.
  • The site is in scope in relation to Nutrient Enrichment.

Reasoned Justification

Richardson’s Boatyard is one of the largest in the Broads. Local Plan Policy PODM45 provides the potential for residential moorings in boatyards adjacent to development boundaries. Although there is no development boundary immediately adjacent to the boatyard, it is close to a significant range of facilities in Stalham. The availability of these facilities, together with the scale of the boatyard, meets the locational criteria of Policy PODM45. It also confirms the application of the general employment and boatyard development policies of the Local Plan, steers built development away from the part of the boatyard that forms a prominent riverbank in the river approach to Stalham and seeks to encourage trees and other planting in this area.

The Environment Agency also highlights the need to address the risks of water pollution for waterside sites in industrial/ boatyard use.

The area is on the edge of a built-up area, at a rural/urban transition. As such, the impact of inappropriate, poorly designed lighting can have a significant impact and so particular attention will be given to lighting.

The Broads Authority’s Design Guide includes guidance on waterside buildings (Design guide to follow).

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 Stalham Staithe area is an area of good dark skies – see policy PODM27.

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

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

The original policy, with no amendments.

Given the importance of the boatyard to this part of the Broads, not to have a policy is seen as an unreasonable alternative. In terms of residential moorings, 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 original policy: 9 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall, positive.

B: Preferred Option - amended policy: 11 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 have the alternative options been discounted?

The amendments to the original policy emphasise the importance of addressing light pollution – it strengthens the policy in this regard. Given the rural nature of the area, the impact of light pollution can be significant. The amendments relating to residential mooring are consistent with other residential moorings policies.

  • [173] Being finalised at the time of writing.