• Option 4: Use an existing boatyard and provide a display mooring at Richmond

Extract from the Council’s Brief

4.112 “There is a fourth option that we would like to be considered. This option is to

look at providing a secure and safe mooring with jetties and pontoons etc.

only without the construction of a boathouse, café, visitors centre and slipway

etc.

4.113 The thought here is that the Gloriana could be brought to the mooring during

the summer months (when not in use) and placed in the mooring on public

view for visitors and the public to enjoy. During the winter the barge could be

taken away to an existing boathouse for storage.

4.114 This option should provide considerable savings in terms of capital

investment and ongoing revenue as there would be no requirement to

construct and maintain a boathouse and other facilities.

4.115 In terms of location it is felt that those referred to in options 1 & 2 above would

be preferred. However, we are happy for the consultant undertaking the

feasibility study to look at alternative locations along the river within the

Borough for this option.”

Current arrangements

4.116 The operators of Gloriana used a site provided by the PLA at Denton Wharf,

Gravesend in 2012/13 for winter storage and maintenance that extended from

mid-November to mid-April. This site is available for 2013/14.

4.117 Home moorings are available for Gloriana, at no charge, at St. Katharine

Docks and Imperial Wharf. The St. Katherine Docks mooring are secure

being in the dock basin that has 24 hour security.

Moorings at Richmond

4.118 We have identified two potential moorings at Richmond as follows:

1. Buoy mooring below Richmond Bridge; and

2. Pontoon mooring above Richmond Bridge.

1. Buoy mooring below Richmond Bridge

4.119 of Richmond Bridge Boathouses, the boatbuilder for Gloriana,

has offered a buoy mooring below Richmond Bridge

2. Pontoon mooring above Richmond Bridge

4.120 A pontoon mooring upstream of Richmond Bridge is shown for Option 2. We

recommend that the option of locating a bargehouse here should be rejected

but it would be possible to locate a pontoon mooring here. We have

consulted Colliers Launches, who operate Richmond Pier as part of the

Westminster Passenger Association (Upriver) Ltd., and they have no

objection to the location. They have suggested that the brow (or gangway) to

the pontoon could be sited at the upstream end of Richmond Pier. The PLA

Harbour Master has advised that if a passing vessel causes wash this may

lead to complaints and damage to the vessel moored in this location.

Position of Gloriana’s operators with respect to a mooring at Richmond

4.121 The operators have indicated that they would not wish to leave Gloriana on a

mooring at Richmond for extended periods due to concerns about vandalism

and trophy hunters. We consider that these concerns are well founded and

our consultation with Colliers Launches for this study has highlighted their

experiences of vandalism at Richmond during the night. This has included

smashed windows and a break-in to a passenger vessel on a buoy mooring.

4.122 The operators of Gloriana have indicated that if, for example, Option 3

Orleans Gardens is developed then they would be able to move Gloriana for

display at Richmond from time to time when the vessel is not in use elsewhere.

The use of an existing boatyard for storage

4.123 Existing boatyards in Richmond Borough with large slipways are heavily

booked during the winter for maintenance work on passenger boats and do

not have spare capacity to store Gloriana.

4.124 There are two sites owned by the Council that have potential to be used for

winter storage of Gloriana. These are:

1. Parish Draw Dock, Lower Sunbury Road, Hampton

2. Cruisemaster boatyard, Eel Pie Island

1. Parish Draw Dock, Lower Sunbury Road, Hampton

4.125 This site is shown in Figure 4.23. It is currently used to provide moorings and

also for car parking in relation to the adjoining Platt’s Ait. The site identified is

an open area similar to Denton Wharf that is currently used to accommodate

Gloriana during the winter maintenance period. The site has good public

access but it is remote from the main visitor attractions in the Borough of

Richmond. It would be necessary to install a crane or slipway together with a

bargehouse if it is to meet the requirement for safe storage and maintenance.

This would require a considerable investment.

4.126 Work would be needed to establish the legal status of the Parish Draw Dock.

Our work for other local authorities on public quays has identified legal

constraints to enclosing areas where the public has a right to land and load

goods and this would need to be researched before any proposals are

developed for this site.

2. Cruisemaster boatyard, Eel Pie Island

4.127 The Cruisemaster site is shown in Figure 4.24. It is approximately 50 metres

long and it is 15.5 metres wide at the river frontage. The site narrows to

some 8 metres at the northern end. A minimum of 2 metres would be needed

for working space either side of Gloriana. This indicates a minimum footprint

for a maintenance area of 30 x 8 metres. The site is the right size and shape

to be able to accommodate Gloriana but the slipway is currently only suitable

for smaller vessels.

4.128 The PLA chart shows two slipways. A long one that is about 4 metres wide

and a short one that is about two metres wide. The long slipway extends

along the length of the site. Figure 4.24 indicates a building that was

approximately 23 metres long x 6 metres wide was located over the slipway.

This building has been demolished. The smaller building to the side of the

slipway remains. It is in poor condition. There is a slipway winch at the

northern end of the site.

4.129 The site presents an opportunity but there are also some significant

constraints that include:

1. The lack of a mooring long enough to berth Gloriana before and after

the haul out operation;

2. The need to widen the slipway and to lower the angle of the slipway

so that it is more suitable for a 27 metres long vessel; and,

3. Potential difficulties with the haul out operation when the River

Thames is in flood condition as this slipway is sited on the main river

channel.

4.130 It would probably be necessary to reconstruct the slipway to widen it and

provide a lower angle of entry into the River Thames. In addition, it may be

necessary to strengthen the existing concrete slab of the slipway to take the

10 tonnes weight of Gloriana. These works could prove to be expensive as

the slipway is bounded by a party wall on the upstream side that supports

‘Ivy Castle’, a residential property.

4.131 As with other Eel Pie boatyards, Cruisemaster has residential neighbours

and any proposals will need to be carefully worked out and consulted on, but

the site is safeguarded for boatyard use and the maintenance of wooden

boats is not a particularly noisy activity.

Unit 2 Platts Eyot, Hampton

4.132 Planning officers at Richmond Council have drawn attention to the

opportunity to use a boatshed at Platts Eyot to provide a winter storage

option for Gloriana. We assessed this site in 2007 as part of a study of

boatyard facilities on the River Thames for the GLA. Unit

2 has a slipway that is 36.5 metres long x 4.8 metres wide.

for the management of the Gloriana has approached the

Terrence Hill Group to enquire whether the slipway is available. Terrence

Hill Group has advised that the slipway is not available.

Conclusion

4.133 We have identified a potential buoy mooring below Richmond Bridge and a

site for a new pontoon mooring upstream of Richmond Pier. The operators

have indicated that they would not wish to leave Gloriana on a mooring at

Richmond for extended periods due to concerns about potential vandalism

and trophy hunters but mooring on an occasional basis, with adequate

security, is viable.

Recommendation: Reject the split site option of using an existing

boatyard for winter storage and a River Thames mooring for public

display

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