Brandy Island boat business plan to be decided
Plans to turn a derelict water treatment works site on an island in the River Thames into a marina could be approved later.
Cotswold Boat Hire's proposal to develop Brandy Island at Buscot Weir, near Faringdon, in Oxfordshire is supported by planners.
But residents, the National Trust and others have objected, saying a tranquil part of the river would be ruined.
A decision is set to be made when Vale of White Horse Council meets later.
The application is supported by the Inland Waterways Association, but the council has received 348 objections.
Cotswold Boat Hire wants to turn Buscot Mill, known as Brandy Island after a distillery that was housed there in the 19th Century, into a boat hire business.
The plans include 17 new moorings, a car park and turning the old chlorinator building, pump house and garage into a visitor reception, storage and boat repair areas.No vegetation loss
But the firm says a majority of the site towards the western end would be an "ecological restoration area for wildlife".
"There would be no loss of existing trees or vegetation and a wildlife pond would be created," it said.
Brandy Island was compulsory purchased by the Water Board in 1955 and the pumping station remained in use until 1992. In 2009 Thames Water sold it at auction.
The trust, which owns surrounding land, has tried to buy the site but its offers were rejected.
It says the current plans "threaten to destroy the peace and special timeless character of the area" and would introduce an "alien urban development that would be highly damaging to the landscape character".
End Quote Ellen Hopkins Save Buscot campaign
It's a national asset and should not be in private hands”
It added: "[It] will mean that traffic movements will rise to an unacceptable level.
"The access road from the village, and bridge over to Brandy Island is very narrow and has no passing places."
Ellen Hopkins, of the Save Buscot campaign, lives at the Old Parsonage next to St Mary's Church.
She said residents were hoping for a referral of the decision based on the traffic issues raised.
Mrs Hopkins said all 200 villagers had objected: "Here you have the whole local community being against it.
"This island is loved by people who love wildlife.
"It's a national asset and should not be in private hands. The National Trust or a wildlife group should own it.
"If you begin to commercialise these water meadows, it's the beginning of the end."