Building flats at South Dock Marina will result in “inevitable conflict,” people living in canal boats have warned Southwark Council.

But any investment into the boatyard would include more than marine activities, Southwark Council’s cabinet heard.

This comes as the authority looks into whether it can build social housing, extra boat berths, and shops, cafes, and restaurants at South Dock Marina.

But a representative from the South Dock Marina Berth Holders Association, Derek Kendal, said while they appreciated the authority needed to build more homes, the site was less suitable than others in the borough.

He asked the cabinet to explore whether it would only expand the marine services.

“We would like to seek assurance any artistic brief…will explore a parallel scheme without a residential element.

He said this could “prevent inevitable future conflicts between residential use and marine activities.”

This was down to the “sporadic” noise generated at the marina, he said.

The boatyard has also been put on the market “several times in recent history” – with no potential developers coming on board, he continued.

“Geological surveys underpin the fears of potential cost to get out of the ground of tall building on this site,” he said.

Cabinet member for new council homes, Cllr Leo Pollak, said he wanted to avoid a scenario where pre-existing businesses were shut down as a result of new developments, and whether a policy which meant residents couldn’t complain about noise would be “attractive.”

Boat owner Charlie Murphy said new social housing could be sold on, with an original agreement over noise lost.

She emphasised there was “no where else” for them to go.

“The floating dry dock in Greenwich will close quite soon. There aren’t any other provisions,” she said.

“We aren’t against residential development but there are more suitable sites for residential development and there are no other sites for boats.

“We don’t believe there is underused space in the yard, we believe there needs to be adequate provision for the boat space,” she added.

Cabinet Member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, Cllr Richard Livingstone, said while the boat yard was important to the functioning of the marina, “the reality is we are unlikely as a council to make any significant investment which is just about the boat yard.”

He said the council needed to find places to build its promised 11,000 council homes.

Southwark Council is holding a consultation about the proposals on its website.