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Parish councillor hits out at plans to upgrade moorings at Willows Riverside Park

A parish councillor has likened an application to upgrade the moorings in Willows Riverside Park to ‘death by a thousand cuts’.

The Haulfryn Group, owner of the park, wants to build a ‘bespoke drainage system’ and replace its electric hook-up and water points with Marine Service bollards.

But during a Bray Parish Council (BPC) planning meeting on Monday, BPC chairman Ken Elvin said he feared the application was paving the way for 13 floating homes to be introduced at the park.

Cllr Elvin said: “This is basically death by a thousand cuts.

“Why can’t we say to them ‘this is obviously part of a bigger project, send us a planning application as a whole?’

“We don’t want them to waste their money on services that they’re not going to use.”

In June 2015, the Haulfryn Group tried to replace 33 residential and leisure moorings at the park with 13 purpose-built house boats.

It withdrew its application six months later though and faced protests from neighbours who said the houseboats would block their views of the Thames.

Tais Oliveira, who lives at the park in Water Oakley, told Monday’s meeting: “It’s difficult sometimes to question what the real intention behind this application is. Mooring fittings could be adapted and improved without having a full-blown application and you don’t need to put sewerage and drainage on the edge of the river.”

Last month the Willows resident returned from a holiday to find that a floating home had appeared near her house on the Thames without planning permission.

She added that the moorings should only be used by traditional boats so the river could be enjoyed by everyone.

The council decided to recommend the application for refusal as they said it represented inappropriate development on the greenbelt and inappropriate development in the setting of the River Thames.

The application will now be discussed by Windsor’s Urban Development Control Panel at a later date.

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