Friday, 15 December 2017

Boathouse makeover approved

A LANDOWNER who restored an old boathouse on the Thames near Goring has been given retrospective permission.

A LANDOWNER who restored an old boathouse on the Thames near Goring has been given retrospective permission.

The wooden structure, which is next to the Leatherne Bottel pub in Bridle Way, was destroyed when a tree collapsed on it in 2004.

The tree damaged Roberta Gass’ vintage boat, the MV Imara, and left it open to the elements.

Ms Gass wrote to South Oxfordshire District Council asking for permission to repair the building but says she did not receive a reply so she carried out the work anyway, believing it would be acceptable because she returned the gable-roofed boathouse to its original condition.

But the council ordered her to apply for permission when it found out about the work earlier this year.

Ms Gass, from Tilehurst, said the boathouse was used solely for the purpose of housing her boat in the winter and in the summer for storage of picnic equipment.

“I clearly had no intention of contravening any planning laws and was urgently concerned over the damage to my boat,” she said.

Goring Parish Council said the work could set a precedent for other people to build on the river banks.

However, the council’s planning officers disagreed and issued Ms Gass with a certificate of lawful development.

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