SS Robin plans for permanent mooring go to council

By Rob Virtue on January 15, 2013 3:32 PM |

SS Robin1.JPG

The world's last steam coaster, the SS Robin, could finally get permission for a permanent mooring in a prime tourist spot in the Royal Docks.

An application from the boat's trust will be heard by Newham Council's planning committee next Tuesday for it to be placed under the cable car and next to Siemens' Crystal.

If approved, it would see the museum and the world's first "fully interactive floating heritage site" given a prominent position in the Royal Victoria Dock.

The planning officer's report has already recommended the proposal is given the green light.

It wrote: "Given the heritage value of the SS Robin as the world's last remaining steam coaster - and one of only three grade one equivalent historic ships - the proposal to moor the vessel within the Dock can be considered to be acceptable in land use planning terms."

ss robin map.jpg

The report concludes it will be a "welcome addition to Royal Victoria Dock".

Back in 2011 the Trust received approval to place the boat in the north-west corner of the dock.

However, it later withdrew this to go for the site under the cable car instead.

Under the plans it also wants the Connaught Headhouse, recently pulled down from Connaught Bridge due to Crossrail works, re-erected and used as a visitors centre for the SS Robin.

The boat, built in 1890, has undergone £1.9million worth of works in recent years including being placed in a floating dry dock.

it is currently at the opposite end of Royal Victoria Dock and not open to the public.

Previously it was in West India Quay before the beginning of the construction of Canary Wharf's Crossrail station meant the dock was drained.

The Trust then began a fundraising drive for the dry dock and to convert it into a museum.

For the council's decision go click here