The end of Sailing at Thames Sailing Club?

08/11/2011 09:25:32
the gurn
Probably not the end - but some of you will know by now that there is a proposal for a large development in the filter beds just upstream of our Club. Included in the proposals are commercial residential moorings, pontoons and landing stages. It is like building on common land that is used by the public as far as I can see! So we need support from anyone who cares about sailing on the Thames. We now have 20 Merlins at TSC and growing. (to be fair a lot are being refirbed at the moment) We are getting 8 - 12 on the water regularly which is brilliant. I will post a copy of a letter that will be sent to Lord Coe shortly when the draft has been approved which will give a lot more background.

You can see the proposals on the kingston web pages - the Planning reference is 11/16502 - imagine the chaos as 6 A raters 10 merlins and all the other boats, rowers, punters and pleasure boats pass by as a river cruiser or two are turning round - or exiting the lock etc!

Drawing 18 (not 018)on the RBK web site is the one to look at but the plan fails to show any boats on the river - wonder why!
08/11/2011 10:24:15
Nick Price (214)
We at Ranelagh feel your pain. Now hopeful that an 80 metre pier will not be built out into the river by Thames Water for the sewage tunnel but recently learned that Fulham FC want to double the size of their riverside stand!
We wish you luck.

08/11/2011 10:31:46
William Harris
Stuart - Have you talked to people at Ranelagh? I don't know the exact details but I think they won a case against Fulham Football Ground and the evil Al Fayed (I should know I used to work at Harrods). Fulham were trying to increase the height of the stand on the riverside and Ranelagh proved they had been there longer and that it would affect the wind. Perhaps this is a test case.

08/11/2011 10:32:15
William Harris
Sorry posted that too late - Apologies.

08/11/2011 13:21:41
Fat Pig
We must use that argument at TVSC - we've been here longer than the trees, so we have every right to cut them down!

Seriously, I hope that TSC can prevail in their case.

08/11/2011 16:58:53
the gurn
just send an objection email - it will all help

08/11/2011 20:05:05
Nick Price (214)
Fulham did get permission to build a new stadium with certain conditions but never went ahead with it. They now want to just increase the size of the riverside stand which will affect us but not the local residents so much. We have a meeting arranged with their architects to see how we can amend their designs to cut down the wind disruption.

08/11/2011 20:20:59
Robert Harris
Melanie Hardman at Thames Sailing Club is asking that you write to the Royal Borough of Kingston-on-Thames objecting to this desecration of the River Thames at Surbiton. In your letter refer to Planning Application Number 11/16502, the address is - Develop Management, Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Guidhall 2, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1EU

08/11/2011 20:48:23
Have you spoken to the RYA ... isn't this exactly what they're supposed to help out with?

09/11/2011 09:49:22
We have contacted the RYA and their position is that they are the body that supports both power boating and sailing.  The creation of the new marina will give more facilities for berthing power boats therefore they will not support Thames Sailing Club as the power boat lobby has a stronger influence within the RYA.

Please look at and join the River Thames Sports Alliance

09/11/2011 10:17:27
Robert Harris
I recently rejoined the RYA after many years away from active sailing. I'm strongly inclined to cancel my membership forthwith.

09/11/2011 10:29:07
David Greening
Is it worth getting a press release onto the Y&Y site?  Sounds like this needs a wider forum that the Merlin Rocket site?

The RYA's lack of support is of concern, I would suggest that RYA members, such as myself, write strong letters to the RYA Chairman, Chief Exec and President explaining that as Yachting members we would expect them to support TSC in this instance.

At Salcombe we strongly defend any development into the harbour South of the ferry landing, and I had always assumed that the RYA would help if we had to fight our corner, maybe this would not be the case.

09/11/2011 10:36:34
Robert Harris
I think David Greening's right, better to stay a member and do as he suggests. Probably more effective than stamping my feet and leaving in a huff.

09/11/2011 10:52:12
Robert Harris
The Chairman of the RYA, Richard Langford OBE, is a windsurfer. Mmmm.....

09/11/2011 11:02:49
Robert Harris
And Michael Shefras MBE Chairman of the Thames Valley Region of the RYA owns 12 metre Broom powerboat on the Thames!

09/11/2011 11:38:26
If the motorboat lobby are stronger, let's change the title to the Royal Motorboating Club, and let's then create a new Royal YACHTING Association.  I know where I will transfer my 26 year membership from and to....

Really, not impressed, you have my support, letter sent......


09/11/2011 11:47:37
Melanie Hardman
You can email through your objection to: [email protected], quote the planning number which is 11/16502. It MUST BE RECEIVED by Friday 11th November (Yes this Friday). I have more details on the best areas to focus any objection on, but don't want to disclosure in a public arena in case anyone I don't want to know is listening. 

Please get in touch and I can provide more details.

You don't have to live in Surbiton (I don't) to object, I do think you have to be a UK resident though.

09/11/2011 15:18:30
Nick Price (214)
George Crowe, (Regional Planning & Environmental Co-ordinator RYA Thames Valley Region)
was very supportive & helpful representing our concerns to Thames Water regarding the Thames Tunnel proposals.

09/11/2011 15:58:51
Chris Martin (Thames Sailing Club)
From the discussions I attended I was shocked (oh so naïve) that/when the RYA had no interest whatsoever in defending the interests of sailing at Thames Sailing Club. It was very clear to me/all that the majority of RYA funds in the area come from motorboats and as such we had no voice and they’d no ears. 

Time for a new RYA that cares about river sailors?....Definitely.

09/11/2011 16:04:08
Melanie Hardman
Hope this works guys, template objection letter in the link below

Email it to: [email protected]

Subject: 11/16502

Please add your name and full address at the bottom.
09/11/2011 16:11:54
Nick Price (214)
Will write to RYA and Kingston on behalf of myself & Ranelagh supporting your case.

09/11/2011 16:57:39
John Hampton SC
Letter sent and yes disappointed in RYA

09/11/2011 17:14:59
Melanie Hardman
HUGE Thanks to everyone for the support. 
Thank you Stu for starting the topic.

09/11/2011 17:18:59
Melanie Hardman
Sorry, very remiss of me, thank you also to Amanda Tosh for suggesting the template letter - THANK YOU

09/11/2011 23:41:02
Deadline is Friday I understand. 

Stuart G has asked me to provide this PDF (1.8Mb) for you all. Letter to Lord Coe.pdf
10/11/2011 15:26:05
Chris Martin (Thames Sailing Club)
We just made Sailing Anarchy

10/11/2011 19:28:17
Pat Blake
This year’s RYA AGM will be held on 23 November 2011 at 1600 at: 

One Great George Street.

Perhaps we should go and speak up!

10/11/2011 21:28:11
Jim C
I can sort of see the RYAs point. They are there to support all boat users and they are a lot more powerful as a result of that. A sailing only organisation would have a lot less influence. And without doubt there are an awful lot more places to sail around South East London than there are places to cruise around in motorboats. 

On the other hand the history and atmosphere of Thames SC is pretty much unique, and its been there an awful long time and adds a lot to the environment of the area: much more than a few motorboat moorings in my (obviously very biased) opinion. And sailing on the Thames has been getting more and more difficult as the years have progresses: it would be a great pity to lose it completely. Its astonishing to think that a hundred years ago the major centre of canoe racing was quarter of a mile up the river from Thames, and nowadays its extremely difficult (and embarrassing) to sail a Canoe there at all.

I must sit down and write the damn letter...

11/11/2011 07:45:04
David Greening
Jim, its easy to post an e-mail off the Sailing Anarchy link

11/11/2011 09:48:20
the gurn
As there are about 90 new moorings inside the development for the motor boat brigade, there is a huge benefit for them. It is the commercial residential moorings and the pontoons that restrict our water.

As most motorboats only venture out about twice a year we could live with that.

The moorings on our race track may provide a tiny bit of extra profit for the developers.

As well as the RYA, The Environment Agency take an equally "sit on the fence" attitude to the despoiling of our environment. Why are they there? - maybe a big saving for the Government could be made by shutting this agency down.

11/11/2011 10:19:24
Furthermore, it is the combination of the proposed residential moorings, the restrictions caused by the punting ledge, the proposed lock together with an adjacent to landing stage, for craft of up to thirty meters long, that make this a disaster waiting to happen.  

As you are no doubt familiar with the practice of mooring large craft into the prevailing current, all boats using the landing stage from the direction of Hampton Court will be obliged to turn across the river, then cross the river again, when arriving and leaving.

Those coming from the direction of Kingston upon Thames will be obliged to cross the river when arriving and leaving, as they will be on the 'wrong side' of the river.

This will be further exacerbated when there are boats waiting to enter the lock.

Yet the RYA states that it is ‘to promote enjoyable, safe and successful UK sailing and motorboating’

11/11/2011 11:22:28
Robert Harris
To add to what 'fribbs' has written the lock as shown in the drawings at 45 degrees to the River. Motor cruisers coming from upriver which wish to enter the lock will have to turn through 135 degrees and straighten up to enter the lock. I'm an RYA Day Skipper and am familiar with handling a 36ft yacht under engine, unless it has a bow thruster a 10 metre motor cruiser won't turn on a sixpence. It would need to leave the right side of the river where it should be and interfere with other river users. There would be similar interference by boats leaving the lock to go upriver.

11/11/2011 11:29:52
John B (3404)
Letter emailed today. 

I made some small changes to the template mainly to make it more of a personal thing rather that just trotting out the template verbatim.

Having had some experience with Kingston planning department (positive I might add), I also included a further paragraph summarising the sentiments expressed in this thread.

Melanie, I didnt copy you, as I think this dilutes the effect. However I will forward it on to you so you can see what I've changed.

RYA stance is poor. Will be writing to them in due course.

Cheers, John (Tamesis)

11/11/2011 18:06:08
Melanie Hardman (1920)
We made Y&Y too, thank you Mags.
11/11/2011 19:12:12
David Homer - Whyte Mischief 3437
This seems outrageous!  My Club, Midland SC was faced with the proposal to build a block of four storey flats at the water's edge a few years ago that was fortunately not pursued by the developers. Had it been, Edgbaston Reservoir would have become a very unattractive place to sail. Had we needed to defend ourselves against this monstrous intrusion I would have expected unconditional RYA support, and believe Thames should be able to expect that too - see the RYA Manifesto!

11/11/2011 19:14:16
David Homer - Whyte Mischief 3437
PS. I've formally objected via the local planning authority web site, and logged a stiff enquiry via the RYA web site.  I urge all RYA members to do the same via "Contact  Us".

11/11/2011 19:34:13
Richard Battey
Done my bit yesterday and lodged a formal objection. Good luck.

11/11/2011 20:12:38
Chris Martin

The River Thames Sports Alliance team have been hard on the case these last few nights, witing articles for Sailing Anarchy, Y&Y etc, handing out leaflets at stations, reading policy statements and writing top notch letters of objection. These were submitted today. I will post an update later...

Huge thanks to all the merlin crowd for getting stuck in and giving us your support. If you are reading this and you have not already written to Kingston Council, it is not too late to voice your objection as they have stated that they will consider objections sent after today. If you could add in something of your personal experience when object then so much the very better. The Sailing Anarchy link does make it easy as does mel's link.

Best regards,

Chris Martin
Rater Captain and friend of RTSA.

11/11/2011 22:54:53
Ben 1477
Due to the timing of the proposed application this posting will start to draw to a close (I hope that is not a contradiction!). So, it is at this point and in response to the support shown on this forum that I wish to congratulate the team heading up this campaign for many reasons but their energy, focus and resourcefulness in particular. My main point is to refer to our campaigners; Fribbs and the Gurn should be relatively well known on this forum but Mel is a co owner of a Proc 9b and Chris, who signed off as Rater Captain owns 2 merlins that I know of! Thus, their appeal for your assistance is entirely appropriate and the response of MROA members has been both rewarding and encouraging. Thanks to those posting and all of those responding.

Ben Marshall (TSC)

11/11/2011 23:00:40
Richard (3233 / Tamesis Club)
Emailed letter to Kingston Council last night and received an acknowledgement email this morning.  Good luck Thames.

11/11/2011 23:01:57
Jim C
As another thing to consider, it mightbe as well to "remind" Kingston Council of the history of the Royal Canoe club, just up the river where its more built up. The RCC was originally at least as much a Canoe sailing and racing club as it was a paddling club. However as the area got built up (and admittedly as the racing Canoes got more extreme) at some time in the 1930s the Canoe sailors admitted defeat and abandoned the Thames. So their is historical precedent in the borough for the sort of unhappy outcome that's being predicted: its not just a guess.


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