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Locked out: Foyle Paddlers to be evicted

ALL LOCKED UP!. . . All doors were securely locked with padlocks at the Prehen Boathouse yesterday. DER2514MC044

ALL LOCKED UP!. . . All doors were securely locked with padlocks at the Prehen Boathouse yesterday. DER2514MC044

A £1.2 million project to redevelop the Prehen Boathouse - is set to have a devastating effect on the Foyle Paddlers Club - who have been operating out of the Boathouse for the best part of the last 30 years.

The club, who are set to provide more than 500 voluntary hours of activities during the clipper festival, which kicks off tomorrow, have been served an eviction notice from the bottom floor of the boathouse.

They have just 14 days to clear their kit out of the facility - with the Council citing Health and Safety as the primary reason for the eviction notice.

Alex Watt of the Foyle Paddlers said the move left the future of the club “very uncertain”.

“It’s the eve of the maritime festival and we don’t know where we stand,” he said.

“Although we were served a 14 day notice, when we went to the site just five days in, the locks had been changed.

“A significant percentage of our fleet is locked away and we have no access to it at the moment.

“Without that access a number of the events we had planned over the course of the festival are in jeopardy.”

In the long term the loss of the storage site could impact most significantly on the groups’ ability to hold to any indoor training, to facilitate community groups or those with additional needs or support for Duke of Edinburgh schemes.

Commenting on the issue Colr. Shauna Cusack said she had been in touch with the Foyle Paddlers.

She said Council recognised the great work clubs like the Foyle Paddlers do - especially with communities and children and wished to continued their working relationship with the club by taking steps to accommodate the club members by providing temporary toilet and showers in a stand-alone unit.

A meeting on the issue will be held at the boathouse on Tuesday at 12.30pm.

A council spokesperson said the issue was that of Health and Safety.

She added: “The Council is more than happy to meet with the clubs to address any outstanding concerns.”

 
 
 

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