The battle to stop ‘floating houses’ being allowed on the Thames at Windsor has seen residents claiming victory – after plans to upgrade mooring facilities at Willows Riverside Park were blocked.

The Haulfryn Group Ltd has lost its appeal against the Royal Borough’s refusal to allow it to upgrade river moorings at the site in Maidenhead Road.

The company wanted to put 45 new mooring bollards and 15 marine service bollards, while providing a new drainage system and installing pumping stations.

But Government appeals inspector NA Holdsworth’s decision last week upheld the council’s refusal. The inspector stated ‘the 15 new marine service bollards and the 45 new mooring bollards would each amount to the construction of a new building in the Green Belt’.

The decision has been welcomed by West Windsor Residents Association.

This week Richard Endacott, vice-chairman of West Windsor Residents Association, said: “What is the difference between a floating house and not a floating house.

“If somewhere is connected to the mains and electricity then it is not a houseboat but a house.

“This is Green Belt and there were no special circumstances to justify allowing this to happen this particular development. A moored boat can always move but this development would have set a precedent.”

Resident Tais Oliveira said: “It is one more battle that has been won. I still do not believe it will be the end but it is getting more and more difficult for the park owner to put floating houses on the river.”

What counts as a ‘building’ on the river is a growing issue in Windsor. Last week the Observer highlighted the problem faced by two longstanding boat repairers in Mill Lane, Clewer whose wet shed on the river has been declared a ‘building’. by the Royal Borough. They are fighting to retain their business.