Houseboat owners await development decision

Published online: Nov 03, 2010 News Ian Mason -

Houseboat owners face an anxious wait to discover the fate of their floating community, which they claim could be torn apart by a Nine Elms development.

Residents of Tideway Village, a small collection of boats on the river in Battersea, have tirelessly fought to secure protection for their community after developer St James submitted a planning application to Wandsworth Council for the redevelopment of the Tideway Industrial Estate.

It detailed a proposal to create 752 new homes, a hotel, space for new shops, a café, restaurant, bar, offices, crèche and gallery on the site next to the boating community.

The consultation period over the plan finished on Friday - but not before campaigners hand-delivered a petition signed by 1,500 supporters to officers at Wandsworth Council. They also presented Mark Hunter, the planning officer responsible for this application, with a Save Tideway Village message in a bottle.

The Tideway Village community - supported by many houseboat owners from the neighbouring Nine Elms Pier - fear they could be forced out because their boats do not feature on St James' plans.

Tideway Village resident Toby McCulloch said: "All we want is to be an integral part of the regeneration of the area. We have been an established community for 10 years on the river front.