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WDC illegally change moorings

PUBLISHED: 17:47 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 07:31 01 August 2010

WAVENEY District Council failed to get the correct planning permission before permanently letting moorings in Beccles.

The 15 pontoon moorings near the swimming pool on Puddingmoor used to be rented for 24 hours to visitors to the town but the council, who owns them, have now decided to rent ten of them permanently.

WAVENEY District Council failed to get the correct planning permission before permanently letting moorings in Beccles.

The 15 pontoon moorings near the swimming pool on Puddingmoor used to be rented for 24 hours to visitors to the town but the council, who owns them, have now decided to rent ten of them permanently.

Today Waveney admitted they had not applied to the Broads Authority, who is responsible for planning permission on the Broads, before making the changes. Five have already been let to boats owners for the year for £500.

A spokesman said: “We are currently in discussion with the Broads Authority to amend a condition of the planning consent. No new application is required and such an amendment will finalise the administrative detail of a decision that better reflects the current needs and usage of the moorings.”

The council said it had been unaware of this “technicality” and was now working with the Broads Authority to resolve the problem.

Stephanie Bubb, a Beccles councillor, said she was astounded that Waveney had made this mistake. She said: “They know the rules of the river as well as anyone. They should have contacted the Broads Authority and us about it.”

Boat owners fear that they will not be able to visit Beccles now that only five of the pontoon moorings are available to them.

Carrie Sweatman, 41, owns a boat moored at Geldeston on the river Waveney. She comes to Beccles every two weeks and usually uses the pontoon mooring because high tides stop her passing under the low bridge at Bridge Street. She there was no room for other boats to stop. She said: “We are not going to stop there anymore, because you can't. It was a real resource for the town but now there is no space.”

Mrs Bubb said Beccles Town Council had not been consulted before the terms of the lettings were changed and she was unhappy with Waveney's decision.

She said: “I just think it's scandalous really. They should be 24 hours for the people of Beccles. They need to moor to lower their masts to go under the bridge. Now there isn't anywhere to moor.”

But Waveney Town Council said it believed the changes would benefit the town. It said: “This amendment has been made with the best interests of all boat users. The facility was underused and subject to vandalism and by taking these steps we hope to welcome more people to the moorings. Some may be unhappy, but many more will be happier and the additional visits it brings to the town should be welcomed.”

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