The Royal Barge could finally get a permanent home, years after its debut on the River Thames for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Gloriana was the first royal barge to be built for 250 years and was commissioned privately by the Queen to mark 60 years on the throne.
It sailed down the Thames in June 2012, leading a flotilla of more than 1,000 boats and ships and then a month later carried the Olympic flame.
But plans to have it moored permanently in Richmond, south-west London, were met by opposition from residents and it has not been able to find a home since then.
Now the boat looks likely to be shown in all its glory in a new boathouse in east London, as part of a £763m redevelopment which includes 1,500 houses.
A planning application filed with Greenwich Council in east London shows plans for a boathouse which would be the new home for Gloriana, complete with an “visitor experience”.
The boathouse would located on the Green Peninsula, as part of plans to redevelopment the former Tate and Lyle refiners site.
The team want to redevelopment a disused jetty to create a “living and working boathouse” where the barge can be looked after correctly to preserve it.
The jetty’s position already gives views of Old Royal Naval College, Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs, and it can be reached by the Thames Path and via the Thames clipper service, making it accessible to visitors.
Architects have included in their proposals a way to get the Gloriana in and out of the boathouse with ease, as the barge is still taken down the Thames, as far as Henley, throughout the year.
The boathouse will be designed to protect the barge from harmful weather conditions and UV rays, while allowing visitors to walk around it, and for it to be viewable from the path.
The application explains the work is vital, stating: “The lack of shelter, particularly when she is moored at St Katharine Docks, is causing ongoing deterioration and significant maintenance costs and so a permanent residence is urgently required.”
Architects propose the area will be car-free.
The barge has been moored at St Katherine’s Docks by the Tower of London, for eight years.
There was opposition in Richmond to creating a home for it there. The barge was built west of Richmond in Brentford, and was placed in the water for the first time at nearby Isleworth.
The project, designed by U+I, is expected to start work in 2023 and would take 10 years.
There will be 1,500 homes on the site, called Morden Wharf, with 35% of them affordable. There will also be 17,000 sq ft of commercial space.