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Canal living set to be sunk by hike in mooring fees

Review launched after 'unprecedented' surge in boat-dwelling

20 July, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

Boat-dwellers Julian Green, Simon Hodgkinson and Sarah LaBrasca: ‘It’s a vibrant and mixed community’

MOORING charges for boat-dwellers in Little Venice could rocket by 15 per cent, according to the Canal and River Trust.

The trust said it had launched a review at a time when the popularity of London’s canals was “unprecedented”. There has been a 76 per cent rise in boats on the waterways since 2012.

A C&RT statement said: “The maximum increases we’ve proposed are 15 per cent a year for three years, which will still make living on a boat on a residential mooring in central London, in places like Little Venice… good value when compared to other ways of living.”

“It is another small symptom of the housing pressure in London with more demand for the limited number of residential moorings available.

“The trust manages some of the residential moorings in the capital with the remainder rented out privately. The price that people on our moorings are paying has, in a number of instances, fallen behind the market rate. As a charity we have to raise the money that is required to maintain the canals and it is therefore important that we charge a fair market rate for the services we offer, including moorings.”

Boat-dweller Julian Green, 47, said his fees will go from £11,000 to £12,500 a year, while when he first arrived they were just £5,500.

He said: “I’m right on the edge of what I can afford. I work for a charity, I earn a reasonable amount, but I’m right on the edge of what I can afford. There are several people who will simply not be able to afford it.”

Retired couple Simon Hodgkinson and Sarah LaBrasca have lived on a boat for seven years. They both say they are also likely to be priced out with the rent increases.

“It’s a very vibrant and mixed community, professionals to single mothers, to key workers, and some very poor people,” said Mr Hodgkinson. “We, as members of that community, should have the same kind of rights and security of our housing as people who live on dry land. It has been destabilising.”

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