Marina holiday homes under investigation

AN investigation has been launched to determine if a number of holiday homes at Hartford Marina have been built illegally. Huntingdonshire District Council has refused to say how many of the buildings and houseboat homes at the marina are currently under

AN investigation has been launched to determine if a number of holiday homes at Hartford Marina have been built illegally.

Huntingdonshire District Council has refused to say how many of the buildings and houseboat homes at the marina are currently under investigation.

However, The Hunts Post has been contacted by alarmed owners who fear some homes may have been sold without ever having planning permission.

The owners of the marina have said they believe everything is above board and all the necessary planning permissions are in place.

Hartford Marina has over the past few years seen the development of houseboats and holiday floating lodges at the site.

However, HDC enforcement officers are investigating alleged breaches of planning laws following complaints from residents.

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HDC said planning permission was granted in the early 1960s for the marina to be used as a boat mooring station and to allow the erection of some ancillary buildings.

Further planning permission was granted in 1998 for nine floating lodges and 15 houseboats for holiday use only.

However, it is believed more houseboats, which do not have planning permission, have been built and are being marketed for sale.

Failure to comply with planning procedures is a criminal offence, which carries a maximum fine of £20,000 and/or six months imprisonment.

An HDC spokesman said: "A 16th houseboat has recently been positioned close to the original 15. This does not have planning permission. There are further houseboats elsewhere in the marina which also do not benefit from planning permission."

One homeowner at the marina who wanted to remain anonymous told The Hunts Post: "It is heartbreaking to think that someone could buy a holiday home and discover it does not have planning permission and then have to watch it be torn down."

She added that she had raised concerns with Barry Perry, owner of Hartford Marina.

Mr Perry said as far as he was aware "all the houseboats, including the 16th, had planning permission."

He added: "The marina as a whole has planning permission for houseboats and has had since the 1960s.

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