Waterway Planning

This Practice offers reliable waterway planning services and are retained by the British Marine Federation as national planning consultants to provide advice on marine related planning issues. We have extensive experience of dealing with houseboats, moorings and marinas and development on canals.

British Marine Federation

The BMF is a leading trade Federation which represents the Recreational Boating Industry. Southern Planning Practice Ltd has been retained as planning consultants since 1994.

Coastal Marinas & Yard

  • The development of new, and the expansion or maintenance of existing, coastal marinas is facing an increasing number of barriers, constraints and issues which can restrict the potential supply of marina berths. More stringent environmental and planning restrictions are placing greater time and resource requirements on marinas, restricting growth and productivity.
  • The procedures and jurisdiction is more complex in tidal waters especially as marinas and yards are usually located in highly sensitive areas in relation to landscape, flooding and ecology; even redevelopment is complex.
  • Examples of advice include:
    • That a barge on a marina mooring could be used for a marine workshop without consent, thus avoiding the need for a new building.
    • Not to demolish buildings as the replacement would be subject to restrictions.
  • The Practice has consistently argued on behalf of clients for protected status for employment sites with access to the sea.

Marina Industries

  • This is a dynamic and highly skilled sector of UK PLC with clusters in the Solent area.
  • The Practice has considerable experience in acting for BMF members and understands the need for specialised locations and the problems of developing on and adjacent to water. It has helped resolve a number of conflicts e.g:
    • Advising the client on enforcement action taken by the Council against a chandlery in an industrial estate in a coastal town and sailing centre: – planning permission granted
    • New sheds for boatyards in the Green Belt – two appeals allowed in different areas of the country because of “Very Special Circumstances”.

Inland Marina

Project – 249 Berth Inland Marina

  • Site located in countryside in an Area of High Landscape Value
  • Part of site within floodplain
  • Site abuts conservation area
  • Near to registered Battlefield

Waterway Planning - Inland Marina

Key Issues:

  • Principle of development
  • Visual amenity and landscape impact
  • Residential amenity
  • Highway impact
  • Flooding
  • Ecology
  • Effect on trees
  • Heritage impact

Design Solution:

The Practice advised on the planning strategy and orchestrated a team of consultants to prepare the supporting planning submission.

The client was advised at the beginning of the process to engage with the locals to ensure as much support as possible.  Pre-application meetings were recommended with the district council and British Waterways.

The Practice was able to successfully demonstrate that the proposal complied with policy despite its countryside location and that its effect on the landscape, ecology and conservation area would be a positive one.  The application was considered by committee where it was unanimously endorsed by members.

Waterway Planning - Greenford Plan
Plan courtesy of Greenford


Waterway Policy

  • This is a specialised area of planning, which is increasingly significant in UK planning.
  • The Practice has been active in it for many years e.g. in implementing “The Solent Waterfront Strategy” with SEEDA
  • Southern Planning Practice’s publications include:
    • Planning Guide for Boating Facilities 2008
    • Input into the Association of Inland Navigation Authorities (AINA’s) Residential Use of Waterways