Boaters avoid eviction after crucnh meeting

A SMALL boating community was celebrating after being spared eviction by British Waterways following a two-year dispute over a slither of land.

A SMALL boating community was celebrating after being spared eviction by British Waterways following a two-year dispute over a slither of land.

The victory came after a legal advocate invited Hammersmith MP, Andy Slaughter, and a Times journalist to a crunch meeting with BW’s legal team in a bid to save the Scrubs Lane Residents Association’s (SLRA) mooring site.

But in a dramatic turnaround BW held a closed door meeting without the Times in a bid to come to an agreement amicably.

Tom Skewis, chief legal officer at Children Need Families (CNF) who represented SLRA, said: “The meeting was extremely productive. We have thrashed out the detail and BW will consult with the Scrubs Lane Residents Association. The boaters should be able to stay there and live stable lives as long as they agree with the stipulations.”


You may also want to watch:


BW stopped selling mooring permits and boating licenses to members of the Scrubs Lane Residents Association, who live at Mitre Wharf on the Grand Union Canal, despite living there for nine years.

It said the site was never intended as a permanent mooring site and doesn’t meet health and safety standards.

Most Read

The move rendered them illegally moored and unable to claim benefits.

A jubilant Mitchell Smith, chair of the SLRA, said: “Over the last 2 years there’s been no progress, but the whole attitude has changed. It’s thanks to Tom and CNF that this happened. The whole of the community should be able to stay there now.

The relieved group have agreed to tidy up the site and abide by BW’s policies as their part of the deal.

Greta O’Shea, BW solicitor, said: “We should have looked at it earlier. In line with our policy and subject to health and safety it will now become a legal mooring, but it needs to be made safe.”

Andy Slaughter, a former solicitor, said it was nice there was a happy ending but would monitor the situation closely.

He said: “I’m pleased that BW have listened and found a compromise I just hope H&F council will be as accommodating.

“We have a very nice and diverse community here and it’s great we can have this in a city because that’s what we are.”

A council spokesman said: “Houseboats can be very complicated in terms of council tax law. Officers will be visiting Mr Smith in the next few days to investigate the matter.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus