Briefing Note: Structures or Craft Impeding the Navigation
No Navigations Should Be Obstructed
It is an IWA principle that no navigations should be obstructed by structures, either floating or founded on the bed of the navigation, which reduce the original design width. This is seen as tantamount to filling in part of the navigation and building on it.
IWA recognises that exceptions to this principle may be appropriate in certain situations but each one must be considered on its own merit, and if accepted must not be seen as setting a precedent for future development.
Structures taking up part of the navigation may impact on the passage and/or mooring of boats, either now or in the future and may restrict other one-off uses such as the organisation or local event.
Where such structures have been introduced in the past, design has generally been poor, based on prefabricated units located on floating pontoons. Such structures tend to degrade faster than their equivalent on land and maintenance is more difficult resulting in a progressive deterioration of the visual aspect. Servicing, access and refuse disposal are further problems that are not easy to resolve for floating structures. Even when such structures are designated with a limited life, in practice this is not always adhered to as removal or replacement is problematic.
[The photo shows floating gardens in Paddington Basin – by Roger Squires]