Revised plans submitted for a model boat pool in Stratford - The Stratford Observer

Revised plans submitted for a model boat pool in Stratford

Stratford Editorial 8th Feb, 2023   0

A REVISED plan has been submitted for a model boat pool in Stratford after the plug was pulled on the last one.

The original proposal for the boat pool was withdrawn in July last year amid complaints it would lead to a “disneyfication” of the area.

But now Nick Birch of Avon Boating Club has submitted a new plan for a pool for racing remote control boats in the Bancroft Basin, which now crucially incorporates a floating pontoon.

Mr Birch continues to argue his boat pool proposal will give residents and tourists the chance to do something a little different in the town, as well as boost the local economy.

And in new planning documents submitted to Stratford District Council he states the floating pontoon will overcome the raft of criticism his previous plan attracted.

The original plans required the installation of electrical cabinets, a post and rail fence and four pairs of controls.

All the equipment required was to be located on the southern quayside and be attached to a cast iron fence for security.

Two electricity cabinets and two 3.6m high flagpoles were included in the proposal.

There was staunch opposition from the Inland Waterways Trust and The Canal and River Trust – who own the Bancroft Basin and some of the land surrounding it – that the electrical equipment would be too visible and detract from the conservation area and the nearby historic buildings.

The Inland Waterways statement read: “The proposal does not enhance or fit in with the environment of the other listed structures which are in close proximity.

“The area around Clopton Bridge, which includes the Stratford canal basin and Swannery area, is visually an extremely important area. This is so because the function around this area relates in a workman-like manner to the river itself.

“It is important to ensure that the spirit of the area is not lost, even if its use changes.”

The floating pontoon, the new plans state, will house the majority of the equipment – including the battery chargers and connections for the electricity supply, as well as the model boats overnight – in a bespoke, covered storage unit, designed to be in keeping with the surrounding basin.

There were also concerns from Elizabeth Dixon, Stratford’s disability campaigner, that the boat pool equipment, along with those using it, would block the pathway for other pedestrians, wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Mr Birch argues that the site is next to a “very wide pedestrian walkway” which will not be obstructed thanks to the majority of the equipment now being stored on the floating pontoon and the consoles being attached to a safety fence “of limited length and in keeping with other examples in the vicinity”.

The original opponents to the model boat pool scheme have yet to formally submit their comments on the revised plans.


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