Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
NigelMoore

GLA suing to evict London Marina

Featured Posts

Another sad and thoughtless reduction in boating facilities planned, in the drive to increase East End property development: -

 

BUILDING MAGAZINE

 

2 November 2016

 

Chinese firm vying for major Royal Docks job

 

Property investor ASF is one of three firms in the running to take on a multibillion-pound project to redevelop Albert Island in east London

 

by Louise Dransfield

 

Chinese property investor ASF is one of three firms vying to take on a multibillion-pound project to redevelop Albert Island in east London’s Royal Docks.

 

ASF has been shortlisted to become the mayor of London’s development partner for the 10ha site, with London & Regional Properties believed to be one of the other two bidders. A winner is expected to be appointed by the end of the year.

 

Albert Island is located to the east of London City Airport and Royal Albert Docks business park, which is under construction and being developed by another Chinese firm, ABP. The site was first earmarked for commercial development by former London mayor Boris Johnson in May 2015.

 

ASF is listed on the Australian stock exchange and is best known for ploughing Chinese money into Australian development deals.

 

The firm is working with Chinese contractor China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) on the Albert Island bid, alongside architect Farrells, agent Savills and consultant Urban Space Management, according to statements issued to investors.

 

ASF has said its proposed scheme would “blend Eastern and Western trade and cultural links” by providing a place to showcase Chinese products to UK and European buyers.

 

CSCEC and then joint venture partner Interserve had been lined up to build Chinese developer Wanda’s debut UK project – the £1bn One Nine Elms twin tower scheme in London – but parted company with Wanda in April after failing to agree a main build contract. Balfour Beatty was later signed up for a pre-construction agreement on the job.

 

Progress on the redevelopment of Albert Island is dependent on City Hall resolving a dispute with one of the site’s existing tenants, the Miller family, who own the island’s Gallions Point Marina.

 

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The redevelopment of Albert Island forms a key part of the regeneration of the Royal Docks, creating an international business district and supporting local jobs and growth. There is an ongoing court process regarding the tenancy of one temporary occupant.”

 

London & Regional declined to comment.

 

Source: Shutterstock/Zoltan Gabor

 

Coming so close on the heels of the GLA's own recent Report on boating facilities in London, urging local Boroughs to do more in providing mooring facilities in this crowded area, it is ironic that the central authority should be flying in the face of its own Blue Ribbon Network Policies in the ‘London Plan’.

 

Whether significant or not, a meeting is scheduled for December for GLA members of the Waterways Commission to discuss this element of the core planning document and its future. As one of those on the committees promoting the original policies, I have been dismayed by the almost universal disregard for them; it is probably too much to hope that this will be turned around in light of the GLA’s evident ambitions.

Edited by NigelMoore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have any specific details on what the "tenancy disagreement" is about. And are they tenants, or owners of the Gallions Point Marina?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have very few particulars. The Marina firm itself is privately owned, the premises being originally leased from the landlord [the GLA].

 

The tenant has been in occupation of the site for 25 years (this coming January). In June 2016 the landlords offered the tenant a contract that they would vacate at the end of a period of 1 year only. The tenants did not agree to this short-term arrangement, as it was considered to be without sound reason or basis. The tenant continued to pay rent on a regular basis, which has been accepted by the landlord. In effect, they are holding over under the terms of the original lease [whatever that was] and are apparently under the protection of the 1954 Act.

 

In October 2016 the landlord (through Transport for London Estates Office as agents) gave notice for Gallions Point Marina to quit, within a period of 7 days only. The tenant did not comply, and the landlord’s agents then applied to the Court for an eviction order.

 

The Marina owner is in a state of some perplexity as to what they should do, and dithering about getting proper legal advice and representation. Several concerned parties have been urging the necessity for this, not least because the trial is apparently due for a hearing shortly, and the Marina is still bemused over the legalities of the situation.

 

Some have been attempting to draft something [anything!] for the Marina to file with the Court first thing tomorrow, but whether that happens or not we will have to wait and see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Nigel. Given that they don't own it (freehold), I suspect its not IF, but WHEN they get evicted (well, let's say their lease comes to its natural end) that's under debate here - the marina and its supporters obviously wanting as long as possible to delay the inevitible. I guess the details of the original lease have some importance here too.

 

I'd have thought that the urgency for obtaining proper legal advice was obvious, I guess its the costs of doing so that are putting them off. But the consequences of not doing so don't look massively rosy either. Rock & hard place, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot see why the development cannot include the marina and moorings. There's so much unused water space around there. I know the area well, as a regular passenger on the Woolwich Ferry (anything for a boat trip!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot see why the development cannot include the marina and moorings. There's so much unused water space around there. I know the area well, as a regular passenger on the Woolwich Ferry (anything for a boat trip!)

 

Would imagine the rich folk who would buy a very expensive apartment would not want to look down on noisy smelly boats, much a prefer empty water?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the development plans include a marina?

 

Well it is all very vague and uncertain; I am getting everything third hand.

 

On the one hand, I have been told: “There are various suggestions and requirements for the future use of the site, which would also have provision for a boat marina. In a commitment to redevelop the surrounding area which is known as Albert Island, the landlord has proposed provision of marine facilities including a marine training centre, a boatyard and an extended marina.

 

On the other hand, there is nothing concrete to back that up, as there are currently NO firm proposals AT ALL for redevelopment.

 

As the article I quoted says, there are 3 competing developers currently, and the article made no mention of retained or extended marina facilities.

 

I would have thought that IF such were envisaged, the eviction of the current incumbents of the last quarter century would be unnecessarily hostile and pointless; far better to offer temporary use of another corner of the Dock while works were undertaken.

 

Yet – it could be 10 years before proposals are drawn up, accepted, and planning consent passed, then built. The other aspect to this is that supposedly NO residential development will be permitted, because the site is under the London Airport flight path.

 

It seems as though the only point to the abrupt eviction proceedings is to make the area more attractive to the potential development partners.

 

IF the existing lease under which the Marina is holding over falls within business lease protection, then the ability of the landlord to terminate the lease depends upon a number of exemptive clauses. In particular, the pertinent clause would be a valid claim as to their intent to redevelop – but that generally needs imminent plausibility.

 

It is possible that the case law such as Cunliffe v Goodman (1950) applies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the details of the original lease have some importance here too.

 

That is exactly right. If there had been a mere hand-shake agreement, or some sort of Tenancy at Will, then eviction is inevitable and the Marina would have no legal protection.

 

If, on the other hand, it was a 'proper' business tenancy, then those cannot be terminated at will unilaterally; the terms of long term residential leases in particular, do not allow unilateral termination except under certain circumstances, and perhaps that could apply to an element at least, of the marina.

 

I have noted to the interested parties that the Marina REALLY needs professional specialist help in this particular minefield! It is just 2 weeks to the hearing, and throughout all the clauses surrounding the issues, there are strict time limits for everything to be done.

 

I am not surprised confusion reigns; I have been in the same dismaying situation myself, unable to get any professional help at all.

 

In some ways, the best chance may well be an amateur approach pleading for common sense and decency. I wouldn't care to rely on it, but if that is the only avenue left, then it is worth a try. Publicly rubbing the GLA noses in their own policies and recommendations could be the optimum solution if there are any receptive ears there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some real opportunities with this site, I think. In particular, I've never understood why you cannot cruise from the marina (with a fairly modern and small lock) into the rest of the Royals, forcing one to use King George V lock which can be quite expensive (and is ridiculously large).

 

I did try to visit the marina once, but when I rang them they said it was far too dangerous for narrow boats to go down there ....

 

ETA: here is a photo. Small lock to the north, leading into marina. You are not allowed to go under the road viaduct. KGV to the south (with a lift bridge carrying the road). You can also see the huge barrier that slides over the lock and then rotates when the Thames barrier is closed.

 

I guess the island referred to is the, er, Island in the middle of the photo. London City Airport to the West

 

post-13477-0-06847900-1478442543_thumb.jpg

Edited by Scholar Gypsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Would imagine the rich folk who would buy a very expensive apartment would not want to look down on noisy smelly boats, much a prefer empty water?

I don't think they necessarily would; some might think that way, others would want to see a quaint scene of nicely painted boats with little discernible odour and authentic looking boaty people bustling quietly about in period dress, doffing their caps to the passing gentry. This can be arranged for a price and might make a good compromise?

 

Seriously, I think Nigel's guess is right and that someone at the GLA feels that if whatever long term rights the leaseholder has can be taken away that would put them in a stronger position when negotiating with the potential development partners. Any existing restriction on a landlord's use of land can only reduce its value, although in some cases (probably not here) having an existing business tenant paying a good rent on land which might not otherwise find a tenant can add to its value. A developer might well be looking to make some money out of leasing space for a marina to the highest bidder, if they can do so without harming their income from the sale or rent of housing, which will be far greater.

 

If the marina cannot find professional help at all, their best bet, apart from Nigel's suggestion of using public opinion, may be to just tell the court they are opposing the case, read the small print of their lease and start studying the relevant law, and turn up in court on the day to ask for time to put their case together. I say this based upon my limited experience in other areas of law; judges don't like to see the smaller party in a case not being given a proper opportunity to present their case. As one of the pools companies used to say, you have to be in it to win it, so above all they must turn up, and self representation will be better than no representation at all.

 

Having said that, there comes a point if a case is weak where it can be better to give up for fear of having to pay the opponent's costs. The larger party in a case will often happily spend a lot on their own lawyers in order to use this fear to win a case, but I think judges know this and will only tend to award costs against a losing party if they feel that party went to court prematurely or with a lost cause.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The following was the GLA announcement, back in May of last year, advertising for development partners – claiming they were desirous of achieving “new employment generating uses, potentially including industrial and a commercial boatyard.”

 

http://www.albertisland.london

 

Back then, it claimed that the redevelopment could include: “The redevelopment of the existing marina in the northern part of the site to provide a facility which supports the transformation of the area through increased leisure traffic, opens up dockside access, provides boat storage facilities and integrates the marina with other complementary surrounding development uses permissible under the PSZ;” [my bold]

 

I personally believe they should be carrying through with that laudable ambition; insisting on this as an element of any proposal, not just suggesting the possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recommended using the Jenny Jones report on London Moorings as back-up.

 

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/gla_migrate_files_destination/Moorings%20report%20agreement%20draft%20FINAL.pdf

 

Amongst other recommendations are:

 

Recommendation 1: - . . . On the Thames, the Port of London Authority and Environment Agency should look to increase the supply and accessibility of moorings where possible, including visitor moorings.”

 

Recommendation 2: - Planning authorities should use the development control process to apply the London Plan Blue Ribbon Network policies more strongly, to ensure that waterside developments enhance and do not detract from the waterways and their uses, including residential mooring use. The Mayor should, in the next set of amendments to the London Plan, more fully reflect the residential value of London’s waterways, and include a policy to increase the number of moorings.”

 

It seems strangely ironic that the Mayor should seek to displace long term moorers in the circumstances, EVEN IF a future increase is envisaged later on.


 

Would imagine the rich folk who would buy a very expensive apartment would not want to look down on noisy smelly boats, much a prefer empty water?

 

That is the normal situation, but it cannot possibly obtain here, where the proposals allegedly have to be purely industrial and employment oriented, with large scale boat building and repair works a feature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The link gives a summary of what is being proposed. Specifically it states that it is for job creation and commercial activities so that it would not be within the spirit of the proposal to use it for housing. In any event, residents would have to cope with being right under the end of the flight path into and out of the City Airport runway.

 

The timetable stated culminates in announcing the preferred bidder by this December - tenders were to be submitted by October 2016.

 

The website also talks about a concern for improving the public realm and creating access so I would guess that these would have to be satisfied in any planning approval. If there is a real and significant role for the marina then they would, I suspect, be well placed to make a useful input into any planning application. (Their web site states that they do not provide any residential facilities). The proposal does explicitly mention a commercial boatyard - not clear whether this refers to the existing marina or something else.

 

If the marina operators wish to continue on this site then they really ought to engage professional services asap or sooner. (IT may already be rather late in the day as Nigel hints).

 

Most of the marina is water-based and the land usage is minimal - assuming that I have inferred their boundary from Google correctly. It does seem that the rest of the island is in need of re-development.

 

I hope that Nigel can keep us posted here on how this proceeds, without the discussion being hijacked. At least it is not CaRT!

 

ETA: Nigel posted twice above whilst I was writing this . . .which overlaps somewhat

Edited by Mike Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The proposal does explicitly mention a commercial boatyard - not clear whether this refers to the existing marina or something else.

 

The laudable desire of the GLA is not merely for a commercial boatyard – very distinct from and separate to any marina facilities – but for a boatyard capable of handling the largest of commercial vessels and trips boats plying the Thames.

 

As the Hendry Report observed, there is NOWHERE in London that can cope with such size of vessel; they have to take trips down to the south coast for essential work, which is ridiculous.

 

So the essential drive of the Mayor to remedy the situation this way is to be encouraged; it is just that he seems to have lost sight of the other vital elements of the waterways infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the planning context: -

 

Blue Ribbon Network Policies – the introduction: -

 

Policy 7.27 Blue Ribbon Network: supporting infrastructure ...

 

Policy

 

Planning decisions

 

A Development proposals should enhance the use of the Blue Ribbon Network, in particular proposals:

a that result in the loss of existing facilities for waterborne sport and leisure should be refused, unless suitable replacement facilities are provided

b should protect and improve existing access points to (including from land into water such as slipways and steps) or alongside the Blue Ribbon Network (including paths). New access infrastructure into and alongside the Blue Ribbon Network will be sought.

c should protect and enhance waterway support infrastructure such as boatyards, moorings, jetties and safety equipment etc. New infrastructure to support water dependent uses will be sought. New mooring facilities should normally be off line from main navigation routes, ie in basins or docks.

 

LDF preparation

 

B Within LDFs boroughs should identify the location of waterway facilities and any opportunities for enhancing or extending facilities, especially within opportunity areas and other areas where a particular need has been identified.

 

Supporting text

 

7.80 In order to make the maximum use of the Blue Ribbon Network, particularly for effective transport, a range of supporting infrastructure is required. The infrastructure includes, but is not limited to; boatyards, jetties, moorings, slipways, steps and water side paths/cycleways. Their need and provision should be assessed by local authorities.

7.81 The Mayor commissioned research in 2007 to investigate the provision of boatyards in London. From this it is clear that there is a particular shortage of boatyard facilities that are capable of inspecting, maintaining and repairing the larger passenger craft on the Thames. One of the actions in the Implementation Plan (see Chapter 8) will be to promote such a new facility.

7.82 Similarly, the historic steps and slipways to the Thames foreshore are often overlooked, neglected or even removed. These facilities are vital for enabling access to the Thames foreshore given the huge tidal range of the river and the Mayor wishes to see these facilities retained, improved and where disused, brought back into use.

7.83 The promotion of the use of the Blue Ribbon Network for leisure facilities is an important objective. Water provides opportunities for particular types of leisure and sporting activities such as rowing, canoeing and sailing. Water-based sport and recreation should be prioritized and facilities that enable or enhance these activities should be supported.

7.84 The range of permanently moored vessels, for example residential barges, restaurants, bars and offices can add to the diversity and vibrancy of waterways and London in general. However, their siting needs careful consideration so that the navigation, hydrology and biodiversity of the waterways are not compromised. Consents for and the use of new moorings should be managed in a way that respects the character of the waterways and the needs of its users. The BRN should not be used as an extension of the developable land in London nor should parts of it be a continuous line of moored craft. [my bold]

 

 

It would appear that the bureaucratic administration of the initial sound and desirable project has damaged the outcome through bean-counter concepts alien to the genesis of the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The laudable desire of the GLA is not merely for a commercial boatyard – very distinct from and separate to any marina facilities – but for a boatyard capable of handling the largest of commercial vessels and trips boats plying the Thames.

 

 

Mike - the basic answer is that the Mayor is seeking to address BRN Policy 7.81 [see above].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure pragmatically what we can - or should - do in this circumstance. From the various planning guidelines, it does appear that the logical use for the area is a boatyard/marina, and I think long-term, there will be a boatyard/marina there (possibly/probably able to handle larger boats too). It will obviously need to be run/managed by somebody. Now, in the interim, there is already a marina there, run by somebody, yet they appear not to be "on the ball" regarding the upcoming developments. Who are the victims here? Are there a large number of boaters possibly living on their boats under the radar, which might lose their mooring in a couple of weeks? Or is it simply a small business vs GLA issue?

 

I'm all for upholding the law as written (including planning guidelines) - and indeed from Nigel's work so far, it looks to be easily defendable at the planning stage - but someone's got to be physically present and give those issues the voice; or accept that inactivity will lead to someone else making the decisions with their own interests at the forefront.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some real opportunities with this site, I think. In particular, I've never understood why you cannot cruise from the marina (with a fairly modern and small lock) into the rest of the Royals, forcing one to use King George V lock which can be quite expensive (and is ridiculously large).

 

I did try to visit the marina once, but when I rang them they said it was far too dangerous for narrow boats to go down there ....

 

ETA: here is a photo. Small lock to the north, leading into marina. You are not allowed to go under the road viaduct. KGV to the south (with a lift bridge carrying the road). You can also see the huge barrier that slides over the lock and then rotates when the Thames barrier is closed.

 

I guess the island referred to is the, er, Island in the middle of the photo. London City Airport to the West

 

gallion.jpg

... and st the bottom of the picture is the site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard where they built the GUCCCo boats including mine 😀.

 

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been given to understand that these moorings are not residential - but whether that means 'officially' or not I cannot say. I cannot remember whether I have ever visited the site in the course of business or not. It is just possible that I did do so, for the purposes of measuring for a VAT Certificate of Use as a residential vessel, but if that was the location of the boat I remember, it was intended that it was to be taken elsewhere anyway.

 

You are right that regardless of what help is offered in this instance, if the relevant party does not avail themselves of the help, then nobody can step into the court fray for them, except insofar as representations to the Mayor might be effective.

 

https://www.london.gov.uk/about-us/contacting-city-hall-and-mayor?utm_expid=121236727-15.kjPhrsbJQxGpslUQR9WCcA.0&utm_referrer=https%3A//www.google.co.uk/

 

How far the customers of the marina are aware of the situation is something I do not know. When facing the similar situation myself, I called everybody to a meeting to detail exactly what was happening, what my strategy was, and what they should do for themselves by banding together.

 

While I would stand by that as the only approach I could live with, it has to be accepted that the result was pretty catastrophic, and not only ended in attempted anarchy for awhile, but destroyed all cohesion between the various boaters. Hence, I would not swiftly condemn those who kept things to themselves. That is not saying what path has been taken in Gallions; it would be unlikely that news had not leaked out regardless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what Nigel says, the occupier needs to ascertain whether or not it as afforded the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954; this is usually straightforward although sometimes it can be complex:

 

s23 ".... this Part of this Act applies to any tenancy where the property comprised in the tenancy is or includes premises which are occupied by the tenant and are so occupied for the purposes of a business carried on by him or for those and other purposes."

 

If so, the Act gives significant (but not everlasting protection) and a new tenancy can only be successfully opposed by the landlord on one of the grounds st out in s30(1).

 

I would be very surprised if the landlord was simply trying to evict without complying with the requirements of the Act, as other considerations apart, it is unlikely to succeed. More commonly, the tenant has received the statutory notices (typically s25) but failed to apply to the Court for a new tenancy within the time limits provided by the Act. If so, the protection is usually lost.

 

If the landlord is opposing on the grounds of redevelopment s30(1)(f) - then the leading case on "intention" is the delightfully named Betty's Cafe Limited v Phillips Furnishing Stores Limited. But the tenant will almost certainly have had considerable engagement for the case to have progressed as far as a hearing on this issue - based solely on what Nigel says, it sounds doubtful.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . the tenant will almost certainly have had considerable engagement for the case to have progressed as far as a hearing on this issue . . .

 

Sadly, I fear that this will have been the case. Ignorance is rarely the bliss it is made out to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. But the tenant will almost certainly have had considerable engagement for the case to have progressed as far as a hearing on this issue - based solely on what Nigel says, it sounds doubtful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I fear that this will have been the case. Ignorance is rarely the bliss it is made out to be.

 

What I meant was that for a hearing to be concerned with whether the landlord can demonstrate one of the s30(1) grounds of opposition, the tenant would have had to make an application to the Court for new tenancy, which requires a bit of effort.

 

If the tenant has simply binned the s25 notice and is now out-of-time to make an application to the Court, it's less hopeful. Both contractual and statutory continuations of the existing tenancy are likely to be history - and the Court will not be concerned with the grounds of opposition as the occupation is no longer within the Act.

 

If rent has been accepted beyond the s25 termination, there may be an arguable case that a new, protected tenancy has arisen but it rather depends on fine details.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More details in today’s Evening Standard – Aussie hereditary ex-cons teamed with the Chinese, are in the frame apparently -

Albert%20Island%201_zpsfmh9nyj4.jpg

 

Mention of the marina dispute comes right at the end –

 

albert%20island%202_zpsiklxg7zk.jpg

 

The sad thing is that the concept of the redevelopment is everything that supporters of the Blue Ribbon Network policies could desire; it just seems so unnecessary to boot out the present incumbents altogether, when temporary relocation could ensure continuity of boating facilities with experience in the area.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Latest update from the Evening Standard today –

 

Billions of pounds of infrastructure deals with China were being set up today during a visit to London by vice-premier Ma Kai. The deals include Chinese contractor CITIC Construction investing £200 million in the £1.7 billion London Royal Albert Docks project.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.