'We've been made homeless' - Houseboat families 'evicted' from moorings
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/Archant
Families living full-time on houseboats at a centre on the river Waveney claim they've been "evicted" from their moorings.
The previously family-run Waveney River Centre, near Burgh St Peter, was bought by Holidays for all Seasons, part of Tingdene Holiday Parks, late last year.
Now, families living in the 10 residential moorings at the centre were told by letter last month they would need to sign new contracts when their current ones expire on March 31, with the new deal's terms and conditions prohibiting "commercial or residential" moorings.
One of the residents affected, Mike Colinese, has lived there since 2018 and says no reason has been given for the decision.
He said: "This is my legally registered address. It's on my driving licence, my pension papers, and my council tax is paid as part of my rent.
"On February 11 this year all of us were told we could not have a residential mooring anymore. Since we all live here, they have made us all homeless.
"They said we can keep our moorings and pay less since we wouldn't be there so much, but the new terms and conditions say we cannot have them for commercial or residential use.
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"No reason was given whatsoever.
"There were 10 families who were legally registered here, some of those with small children or disabilities, who have lived here for a long time."
In a letter to Mr Colinese on February 11, Tingdene Holiday Park's operations manager Greg Doggett wrote: "From April 1, 2022, we will be removing permission for the residential mooring you occupy at Waveney River Centre."
Planning permission was granted by the Broads Authority in January 2016 for 10 residential moorings to be created at the Waveney River Centre.
Mr Colinese says residential moorings on the Norfolk Broads are "like hen's teeth".
The 78-year-old, who lives on the boat with his wife Jan, said: "We searched around the Broads for a residential mooring for a long time, and most people haven't been able to find one.
"It has completely ruined our community.
"You can imagine in lockdown when no one was coming to the centre how close a community we became."
Holidays for all Seasons and Tingdene did not respond to requests for a comment.