Houseboat owners on Driffield Canal told to leave moorings due to planning breach

June 2010 News

Houseboat owners are being forced off their moorings on an East Yorkshire waterway.

Planners say they are in breach of planning guidelines on Driffield Canal at Hempholme, near Brandesburton.

East Riding Council has served eviction orders on two owners because they are living on boats without planning consent.

The council objected to what it claims is effectively new dwellings in the countryside - despite the boat owners living at the moorings for years.

Shocked Gordon and Eileen Taylor, who have lived on their boat, Mary Grace, at the Bethells Bridge moorings for seven years, have appealed.

Retired Mr Taylor, 65, said: "Although the moorings are our address, it is not permanent because we move around the inland waterways network.

"We discussed it with the council when we first moved there and there wasn't a problem - even though we agreed to pay council tax of just over £1,000 a year.

"We joined the Bethells Bridge Boat Club because we needed an address to apply for a British Waterways licence to sail around the country."

If Mr and Mrs Taylor lose their appeal they will have to quit the moorings by April 26, 2011.

A council spokesman said Mr and Mrs Taylor, and the other couple, Dennis and Andrea Norris, lived on boats that needed planning permission.

He said: "The council has a policy objection to what is effectively a new dwelling in the countryside and is not likely to give consent for this change of use.

"That is why an enforcement notice was issued requiring those living in the boats without planning consent to permanently cease the use of the land for the stationing of boats used for human habitation purposes and remove them from the land."

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