It has been a while since we have reported to the wider church on the progress of the Mooring Scheme. Longer term members of St Mary’s may have reached a level of cynicism about the glacial progress of the project! However, during the past six months or so, there has been much movement and, as far as the PCC can tell, we are in as good a place as we can be as 2016 ends. We are working towards, with some firm conviction, the possibility of work commencing on building the moorings in September 2017!
So what has happened? Here are some of the highlights:
- We have a Business Plan: as we go to press, the PCC will be considering the final plan which will give us a picture of the finances of how the project will be funded and the level of income it will generate in the years ahead;
- We have reached agreement in principle with the key barge owners who wish to work with us on the project. This is now firmly in writing and gives us the confidence to move forward in good faith together;
- We have entered into an agreement with Wandsworth Borough Council for them to act as design-and-build consultants;
- We have been granted a Faculty (permission to do the work in ecclesiastical law); Local Authority Planning Consent had already been granted.
- We are currently progressing towards Exchange of Contracts on the sale of our property in Kerrison Road, which is being sold to contribute a proportion of the costs of the project. The remainder will be invested.
- We have worked closely with our lawyers to begin court proceedings to secure the necessary legal means to prevent the ongoing trespass issue by one barge and its residents and owners.
- We await news from the Port of London Authority as to the role and level of support we can expect from them in dealing with matters for which they are responsible. There are hopeful signs.
The key uncertainty in the process now remains the court case. We are confident in our position but need to await a date for a first hearing and then any subsequent hearings. However, it is our intention to work in such a way and to seek the necessary permissions that we can go out to tender on the project immediately after Easter. If we do this, we should be able to complete the work in the timescale now planned.
Don’t forget you can see the plans on a small display in church.
St Mary’s PCC