After over 25 years of acting as Expert Witness on hundreds of masterplanning and landscape projects ( including major residential schemes such as Bishops Cleeve and Stratford upon Avon) one of Phil Rech’s most bizarre successes has now come to fruition. The striking sleek five deck Sunborn Yacht Hotel is open for business, moored in the London Royal Victoria Dock close to the ExCeL Exhibition Centre and providing 136 luxurious cabins together with the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea on the deck.
The London Borough of Newham refused planning permission for the proposal to moor the Yacht Hotel in the deserted Royal Victoria Dock on the basis that it would harm the character and appearance of the area and in particular the Royal Victoria Square, which was backed by two listed warehouse buildings. Views were also available from the elevated walkway linking the square to the DLR Station. FPCR provided photomontages and shadow analysis to support Phil’s evidence showing that, rather than being unacceptable, the Yacht Hotel would in fact become a positive asset to the Dock. At the 2011 Inquiry, Inspector Whitehead agreed with this judgement, and granted consent. Peter Goatley led the case, with Mark Hyde giving the planning evidence.