D-day for river beauty spot

IT is D-day for one of Suffolk's beauty spots after it was revealed up to £50,000 could be needed to clear wrecks from the shoreline at a popular riverside haunt.

IT is D-day for one of Suffolk's beauty spots after it was revealed up to £50,000 could be needed to clear wrecks from the shoreline at a popular riverside haunt.

Today a task group decides on what to do after a two year investigation into concerns raised by Pin Mill residents is still fighting to resolve problem areas.

Its report outlines ongoing problems with wrecks being dumped on the Hard, an area of land on the foreshore originally created for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, but the group has found no bye-laws or other regulations that would help control what is done there.

There are also problems with smaller boats, some of them untidy or derelict, being moored in the area between the slipway and the yacht club and again there is no clear information on whose responsibility it is to control the moorings.

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A task group was formed by Babergh district council to address the issues. While Babergh has responsibility for planning control, Ipswich Borough Council owns the land between high and low water mark.

Associated British Ports (ABP), owners of Ipswich docks, owns the moorings in deep water. The National Trust also owns some land in Pin Mill alongside the River Orwell.

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Establishing just who is responsible for the individual areas of the settlement, which is partly in an area of outstanding natural beauty, partly in a designated conservation area, has proved nearly impossible.

The task group has come up with a number of suggestions to be discussed at today's meeting of Babergh's overview and scrutiny committee.

The precarious position of Pin Mill's houseboat tenants is another issue of concern as is the lack of sewage facilities to the boats. However, the estimated cost of providing these facilities could be as high as £64,000.

The task group is proposing that Babergh set aside £50,000 in its 2003/2004 budget to clear away the wrecks and arrange a meeting with houseboat owners to try to devise some system of better regulation and management for them.

It is also suggesting that Babergh compulsorily purchase a strip of land behind the pub, the Butt and Oyster, which has become untidy and could provide space for installing sewage facilities although it has been unable to establish who owns the land.

It is also suggesting that an archive be created of all information and original documents that exist on the Hard and the houseboat area and that the work of the task group continues as a re-named Pin Mill Area Liaison Committee.

Weblink: www.babergh-south-suffolk.gov.uk

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