Houseboat owners sink council's eviction bid: Couple can stay on floating home

September 2010 News

A couple have won the right to "grow old gracefully" in their floating home.

Houseboat owners Dennis Norris and his partner Andrea Gayton faced being thrown off their moorings.

Today, they are celebrating after winning their appeal against East Riding Council's eviction order.

The council said they were living on their boat without planning consent on Driffield Canal at Hempholme, near Brandesburton.

Mr Norris, 41, said: "It is brilliant news and we still can't believe the inspector has upheld our appeal.

"We have been living under tremendous pressure since the council issued the order and had to take out a loan to fight the legal battle.

"I'm delighted we have proved we have done nothing wrong and have the right to grow old gracefully on our boat."

Mr Norris and Ms Gayton, 43, are both long-distance lorry drivers and live on the converted 1927 coal barge,Raleigh, at Bethell's Bridge.

They pay council tax of almost £1,000 a year and also have a river licence.

Mr Norris, who has lived on boats since 2003, said he was unaware of any need for planning permission when they bought the boat.

An inspector has upheld the couple's appeal and ordered the enforcement notice to be quashed following a three-day inquiry in Bridlington.


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