A campaign to oppose Southwark Council’s plans for three tower blocks on Rotherhithe’s South Dock Boatyard has raised £7,475, to hire a lawyer for a potential legal challenge if it goes ahead.
The group are opposed to the council’s plans for a major 213 flat development on the basis that it may ruin the area’s low-rise appeal and run the boatyard out of business.
Gary Williams, an organiser of the group, criticised the council over their consultation process and expressed worry over them seemingly applying for planning permission from themselves.
He said: “The council are the game keepers and the poachers. That is why they want to ram it [the planning permission] through as quickly as possible.
“We’re going to wait for the planning to be put in and then the lawyer will get in touch. We want the council to rethink before that even happens. We want them to stop now and reconsider.”
The boatyard is an important part of the Thames as it is one of few with a crane that can lift boats out of the water.
Grit Eckert, another organiser, said: “It sets a precedent. If they can build here then they can build more. The development would make the boat yard unusable.”
No planning permission has been requested yet because of the Surrey Docks by-election taking place on June 9.
Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The scheme will include rebuilding a new modern boatyard, which will support local jobs and river trade, as well as securing the long term future of the boatyard.
“We are consulting with residents and at this stage a final scheme has not been agreed and no planning application has been made.
“We will be writing to all residents in the area shortly to invite them to a consultation event to discuss the proposals and feedback on the comments and concerns we have received so far.”
To donate to the campaign, visit www.spacehive.com/save-south-dock-boatyard