We all know that the current housing crises produced as a direct result an increasing number of people living on houseboats permanently. Though currently houseboats can only moor for a maximum of 2 weeks on any particular spot before they have to move on.
Prior to the Olympic Park development many houseboats moored on the river Lea near the Olympic park but they had been moved on and can now be found along the Regents canal towards Hackney.
Along our estate Parkview, there are double rows of boats moored on the park side of the canal. I walk along there frequently on my way to the London Aquatic Centre and see that their lifestyle has been adapted to make the best of what they got. The footpath next to the canal makes important living space for canal boat dwellers to socialize and do some craft work or repairs, sit and meet.
In the latest twist to the canal boat dwellers a development company has come up with a plan to create permanent canal boats for rent and moor them alongside the Parkview estate on the estate side of the canal.
The Parkview Tenants and Residents Association currently collects signatures against this proposals because the houseboat moorings would mean that the current natural river bank would be removed, all trees and shrubs cut down and a cement wall would allow the mooring of the boats. Those boats would be for rent on a permanent basis, so residents there would have tenant rights.
A footpath would lead to the mooring site and electricity, gas and water supplies would also be permanently installed and waste be removed via a waste pipe system.
The problem that exists is that
- opposite the Estate mooring site is already a double row of temporary boats moored and there is not enough space on the canal to permit both sides of the canal to be occupied by boats, so this would result in severe congestion or blockage of the canal
- The moored boats on the estate side would be only 3 metres away from the back gardens of the housing block residents and where would the boat occupants go to stretch their legs or spend time outside of their boats, as they do on the other side of the canal.
I add a link to a clip from a BBC interview about living on a boat. There are concerns that the current housing crisis cloggs up canals.
If you are interested in this issue and have a vested interest to prevent this scheme from going ahead please get in touch with the Parkview TRA secretary via the form below. A petition has already collected 85 signatures to date.