Planning Officer Recommends Refusal of Boatyard Application Despite Unprecedented Support

The revised planning application to improve the Hobbs boatyard on the Wargrave Road and create a new home for the Rose Toop vintage boat collection will be reviewed by Wokingham BC’s Planning Committee next Wednesday (8 March).

The site was acquired by Adam Toop from Hobbs of Henley in October 2020.  He plans to make a substantial investment in the site which would see the unattractive agricultural barns converted into far more attractive wooden clad buildings. The main barn would be used to store, maintain and display this beautiful and significant collection of vintage boats, associated artifacts and archives. Facilities for the existing businesses that operate from the site would also be dramatically improved.

The plans would see the boatyard return to a vibrant traditional boating hub. Recognised clubs and societies will be offered complimentary use of some of the facilities.

The Planning Officer, Helen Maynard, in her report to the Planning Committee, has recommended refusal on two grounds – inappropriate development in the Green Belt and detrimental impact on the countryside and landscape character.

The planning application has received over 120+ letters of support including Sir Steve Redgrave and former PM, Theresa May.  There were no objections.

Amendments have been made to the original planning application which was refused in December 2021 in response to the Planning Officer’s previous recommendations. The Environment Agency (EA) have now removed all objections to the proposals.

Despite the unprecedented levels of support, there is a considerable risk that this popular proposal may be once again refused, given the planning officer’s recommendation.  Refusal for a second time would represent a real threat as to whether this popular project could ever come to fruition.

If you supported the original application, this is your last chance to remind the planning officer and committee of the huge support there is for these plans within the community.  You can do this by writing to the planning officer, Helen Maynard at by Tuesday 7 March latest.  Your comments will then be presented to the committee in time for the meeting on 8 March.

Those that have recorded their support include:

  • The River & Rowing Museum
  • National Historic Ships UK
  • The Thames Vintage Boat Club
  • Thames Traditional Boat Society
  • Classic Motor Boat Association
  • Henley Royal Regatta HQ
  • The National Transport Trust
  • The Henley Society
  • Leander Club
  • Remenham Parish Council
  • The River Thames Society
  • The Inlands Waterways Amenity Advisory Committee
  • Environment Agency Waterways Team Leader
  • Rt Hon Theresa May MP
  • Sir Steve Redgrave
  • Lord Anthony Hall
  • Lady Judy McAlpine
  • Jeremy Irons
  • The Kings Swan Marker


1 comment
  1. Steve Betts says:

    I support the application. it would be an amazing attraction for the river in general and for Henley in particular and will complement the River and Rowing Museum


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