Planning Permission is granted for the Riverboat Pontoon

We’re delighted to confirm that we were granted planning permission to build the Pontoon on 16th February It has been a trial getting permission as there were many comments to deal with.

We had to deal with wildlife conditions, especially after the Council decided we needed to take down three trees on site. We had to tread a line between heritage concerns to make the pontoon blend in  and rowers concerns that it should be clearly visible. We also had a number of concerns  that the river would be narrowed for other users. We consulted widely with rowers to work out and deal with matters raised. We even relocated the pontoon so that it was as near as possible to Causey Bridge and avoided the “island” in the river by the Museum of Making, but also avoided the existing power cable and the planned high voltage power cables destined to power Smart Parc in Spondon.

Our planning expert, Duncan has shepherded the application through the process so we were wary when told we would have an objector speaking at the planning meeting. We prepared to combat the possible challenges from one of the Rowing Club captains, but we were pleasantly surprised to find out he simply wanted to thank everyone for the extensive consultation. We are obviously delighted that our consultations and trial working last autumn went so well as sharing the river is key to our success.

Our timetable has been set so that we operate on any afternoon, but we will start with weekends from April 1st and extend this to Wednesdays as the season extends and offer charters and group bookings on other days—volunteers permitting.

The online booking system on Derby Live: is being reset to take bookings over the next few days. Thanks to all those enquiring about trips – you should be able to book very soon. If you are interested in chartering the boat feel free to contact us on

Next Meeting

The next meeting on February 28th is entitled “Little Eaton Canal and the Clock House—past, present and future”. It will be delivered by Clare Howard and Sue Stone from LE History Society.

It is a chance to see what is happening and proposed for the Little Eaton Arm of the Derby Canal. It will be held as usual at the Canal Cottages, Hopwell Road, Draycott DE72 3PE from 7.30pm. All welcome.