Thursday, 20 February 2020

Shrinking Thames island set to be renovated

AN island on the River Thames in Henley is set to be renovated and brought back into use.

East Eyot is a narrow strip of land covered in trees opposite Mill Meadows, which is registered to a company in Liechtenstein.

Agent Stuart Canon is working with the owners to renovate the island and create a bay on one side with boat moorings.

He is working with Hurley company Cook Piling, which builds the Henley Royal Regatta course each year, and the Environment Agency, which is responsible for the river.

Mr Canon told a meeting of Henley Town Council’s planning committee that he wanted its support for a planning application that would be submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.

He said the island is 140m long and 8m wide but according to the Land Registry, it should be twice as wide. The bay would cover the lost part of the island.

He said: “The island is washing away so much it is plenty deep enough to put a houseboat or a small launch there.”

Councillor Laurence Plant said the island had been eroded and restoring it would work well without affecting the river traffic or being too commercial.

Councillor Jane Smewing said: “I feel it is important to have the island protected and hopefully ufficient income from the moorings will allow the protection to continue.” Councillor Sam Evans said she was happy to see the island restored but wanted it to look natural, free from advertising, lighting and noise.

Councillor Will Hamilton said river traffic needed to be considered, particularly in the narrow part between the island and the Mill Meadows bank.

Mr Canon said there would be no advertising or structures on the island.

The committee agreed to support the plans.

Last year, the council threatened to claim ownership of the land due to its poor condition and to tidy it up.

The eyot used to be known as Corporation Island and was owned by the council until 1907 when it was sold.

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