Application 21/01038 - The Boathouse at Boulters Lock

Comments on Application 21/01038 - The Boathouse at Boulters Lock

New external terrace bar and pizza oven, extension of existing terrace, and new staircase and ramp to the new pontoon terrace.

We generally welcome investment in enhanced and expanded leisure facilities offered by businesses trading along Maidenhead Riverside. This is an innovative proposal to increase the outside dining area at Boulters Boathouse. The lack of any narrative makes it difficult to ascertain whether this proposal is long term or a response to the short term challenges resulting from the pandemic. The proposed extension to the existing terrace is not clear in the submitted documents, which feature the proposed dispensing bar outbuilding, a plan of the pontoon and its location and details of the pizza oven.

The plans/elevations of the dispensing bar are very rudimentary and utilitarian. The structure and setting of Boulters Inn is a central feature of the Riverside Conservation Area. The structure of the dispensing bar requires more character, with some Victorian architectural embellishment to create architectural interest. As proposed, it appears as little more than a modern garden shed.

The concept of a floating pontoon is innovative, and utilises the unique setting of the mooring area to the south of the restaurant. Whilst the submitted plan gives evidence of the proposed layout of the pontoon deck, there are no elevations to illustrate the superstructure of the pontoon and the visual impact on the aspect of Boulters Inn from the south. Is it proposed to retain the pontoon in place throughout the year - especially when the river is in flood? Is there any risk of obstruction to the mill race which passes under the main building? What is the maximum capacity of the pontoon and has there been a Health and Safety assessment for clients and employees? Is the ownership of the river bed established as it is not indicated in red on the plans?

This is a unique proposal, and a firm opinion on this application is not possible whilst such information is incomplete, with more narrative and drawings required. We await with interest the comments of the Environment Agency, Conservation Officer and Environmental Health Department.