Archive | April, 2015

What If…?

16 Apr

This age-old question has once again popped into my mind after reading a letter in the April edition of Towpath, which was written with reference to the C&RT’s new rules for boaters without a home mooring.

…There are the CCs who move a couple of hundred yards back and forth. And there are the genuine ones who do cruise around the country. My question to the Canal & River Trust is: If only 50% of all these CCs want a home mooring, where are they? There are not enough home moorings available in my area of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal for a quarter of these…

Good question. And in no way limited to the Leeds & Liverpool.

You can be sure that this applies to many parts of the network; not least the London area. And this is where I’m at these days. So yes, where are these home moorings?

Strikes me there’s plenty of potential in and around the capital – I’ve spotted many likely sites when passing through the city. Old disused wharves that have fallen into disrepair, silted up basins that are chained off and now collecting junk and all manner of derelict industrial sites – a landscape resembling that of the post-apocalyptic…

google image

google image

Frankly, it seems such a waste when they couldĀ be utilised for the purpose of creating a place for an affordable home – a floating home is still a home – without major expenditure.

So I too have a question… Do new home moorings count, within the realms of Westminster/local councils, as providing new/affordable homes? I somehow doubt it.

But what if they did?

Would this not be a massive incentive to the powers that be to provide more home moorings – if it counted towards their targets? If I know anything about officialdom, it is that it performs much better when there is something in it for those with the necessary sway to make things happen.

It’s all over the news; how far short we are falling in the provision of homes in the capital but no-one seems keen to build them – especially the smaller homes that singles and couples so desperately need. A floating home (in my view preferable to the bricks and mortar variety) in the London area is an affordable option – possibly the only one.

And boat homes can be very green/eco-friendly, with many now using solar/wind power, so a smaller carbon footprint. They require little – if any – additional infrastructure, with occupants disposing of their own waste/rubbish to one central point and generating their own power. I may be naive… but could the rules not be changed so that one new (sensibly priced) home mooring = one new affordable home? Why not?

Why ever not?