New residential moorings for London

May 2018 - The Canal & River Trust has been granted planning permission for 16 new residential moorings in Millwall Outer Dock, and they look to be targeted at those looking for a home rather than becoming a boater, as Peter Underwood reports.

C&RT itself describes the moorings in Millwall Outer Dock on the Isle of Dogs in East London as 'providing new homes for those seeking life on the water', and it seems the new moorings will be clearly pitched at the well-off, with prices likely to be at least £10,000 a berth.

The Trust says; “Living afloat in London has never been so popular with the number of boats on London’s waterways going up by over 70 per cent in the past five years. Residential moorings are often oversubscribed, so this new development will provide a much-desired resource for the capital.”

A simple comparison with BWML moorings in Limehouse Dock suggests that £10,000 per berth per year is likely to be a minimum price and, with access only available through the Isle of Dogs dock system and the tidal Thames it seems likely that C&RT expects the berths to be filled by wide boats capable of being used as up-market apartments in Dockland.

The site sits between two DLR stations and is in walking distance of Canary Wharf – to say nothing of some of the seedier pubs of the Isle of Dogs and a big Asda supermarket.

The Trust promises that the new mooring scheme will see high quality pontoons, water, electricity and other facilities built in the Dock.

“There will be plenty of space left in the Dock for sports like canoeing and sailing,” it says. It also promises: “Floating planters alongside the pontoons will provide a home for ducks, coots and other wildlife.”

The moorings will be managed by Waterside Mooring - the part of Trust that looks after over 300 long term mooring sites across England and Wales. If fears that the Waterside Moorings operation is being readied for sale to the private sector are true, then an additional income of around £200,000 a year will make it more attractive.

Mark Blackwell, Head of Waterside Mooring, said: “This is a really exciting project that will create much-desired residential moorings in London. Millwall Outer Dock is a fantastic space and offers a great opportunity for people to become part of the water-based community enjoying life on the water on the Isle of Dogs.”

Work on the pontoons will start in summer with the scheme likely to be finished in autumn. Prices for the moorings are still to be finalised, and C&RT points out that all income will be 'contributing to the care of the 2,000 miles of waterways the Trust looks after'. Many boaters will hope that continues to be the case.

Photos: (1st) The dock still retains some of the old working infrastructure, (2nd) Millwall Outer Dock - situated south of Canary Wharf, between two DLR stations and handy for Asda.

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