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Fossil BS: Nimbies change law to evict boaties (32) RE: BS: Nimbies change law to evict boaties 13 Mar 15

There has been a lot about this matter on the Thames boating forum.

For those not in the UK, Richmond is one of the prettiest and most expensive housing areas in one of the most expensive cities on earth. Hence the landowners whose banks front the Thames - the creme de la creme of expensive properties in Richmond - very jealously guard their river frontages. Legal moorings are few and far between and command high prices.

There are extensive stretches of the riverbanks which are owned by the local authorities and it is these areas which have been colonised by a number of permanently moored residential "boats", mostly converted barges, not capable of independent travel and owned, it would seem by some very dodgy figures who act as landlords. Cabins are let on a short-term cash basis. Conditions aboard are apparently rather primitive. These are not your cosy traditional narrowboats, with coal fires and painted kettles. More like steel tanks divided up with plywood partitions to make small cubicles just large enough for a bed.

The inhabitants of the craft seem to be a wide range of people, ranging from those who genuinely can't find anywhere else to live in Richmond due to the high prices, together with others who live the opt-out lifestyle from choice. Needless to say, the owners of the craft do not pay rates or contribute in any way to the local economy.

The general lack of sanitation, rubbish and general anti-social behaviour of some (by no means all, but some) of the boat people led to a large number of complaints to the local council, which previously didn't have any power to control the moorings. Hence the bye-law. That's the situation, really. Personally, I don't live in Richmond, or indeed in London, or the UK (although I used to) and have no axe to grind in this. But some posters here seem to be viewing the situation as being the nasty fascist council versus innocent boaties. Its not quite as simple as that, however.

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