The popularity of narrowboating continues, with second-hand prices stable or rising in some cases. As does the growth of new marinas. The North Kilworth marina opens in the Spring and another one, near Braunston, called Dunchurch Pools is due to open next May. We went along for look.
The plans are quite staggering – with a long driveway, through landscaped parklands (which will be open to the public). The designers (whose previous plans include the Eden Project) have tried to plan the marina from the bottom up, with deep pools to help with water quality and shelves around the edges to promote water plants. Joe Oliver, seen below, is a very enthusiastic and welcoming project manager and has been with this scheme from the beginning – some 9 years!
The colourful plan shows the connection to the North Oxford canal, a few miles from Braunston. Entrance is at the bottom of the map – with a circular basin, this will eventually have pontoons for boat with the end aim of 200 spaces in total. Most will be on standard pontoons but a few on “Super berths” – these have a dedicated pontoon, patio area and reserved car space.
With raised banks and a central island, moorers will be presented with a more natural and rural view, rather than 100’s of other moorers. Below is an artist’s impression – nice. It doesn’t show any security fencing – the marina is on the towpath side and the pretty iron bridge will be a right of way.
The view below shows the central island (with JCB) plus the footings for all the pontoons (to be made in Scots pine with anti-slip sections built in). There will be the usual water & electricity plus a (hopefully) marina wide wireless network.
Joe here is explaining the wide entrance pontoons – barrow friendly!
There’s to be an amenity block with under-floor heating (water source heat pump) with special home from home rooms, i.e. a whole room to yourself with wc, basin and shower. Below are the super berths for 70 foot boats.
Quite a fascinating project with most of the structures at the “already paid for” stage which is promising. There were large discounts on offer (15%!) for early takers with a choice of berth – for more info see Dunchurch Pools Marina