Hirst fights to buy moorings for his Chelsea houseboat

August 2011 News Mark Prigg - www.thisislondon.co.uk

Artist Damien Hirst and Yo Sushi! founder Simon Woodroffe are part of a co-op of barge owners fighting to buy the Chelsea boatyard where their houseboats are moored.

Within walking distance of King's Road, the Chelsea Reach moorings have become the scene of a stand-off between residents and the owner of the boatyard. Chelsea Yacht and Boat Company, which owns the area, planned to sell the land for £4.75 million - which residents were happy to pay. The Chelsea Reach Residents' Association, representing 59 boat owners, had collected the deposit of almost £1?million and had pledges from boat owners to reach the company's sale price.

The association said the land's owners broke off talks as the deal was about to be signed, after which residents reduced their offer by £500,000.

They have now issued an open letter which reads: "We are a community. We are not a commodity. Please allow us to peacefully purchase the boatyard at a fair and reasonable price."

CYBC did not comment on the negotiations.

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