Environment Agency says it will not be removing sunken barge next to Northampton retail park

The barge sunk into the River Nene on Monday.
The barge sunk into the River Nene on Monday.

The owner of a houseboat that sunk into the River Nene near a Northampton retail park will have to foot the cost of removing the wreck himself, the Environment Agency says.

On Monday, eyewitnesses say the owner of the barge moored up at the side of the B&Q in Towcester Road returned from a weekend away to find his home entirely submerged in the water.

Having seen the wreck, fisherman Steve Drinkwater contacted the Chronicle and Echo to say he was concerned the sunken boat would affect the local wildlife by spilling diesel into the water.

But the Environment Agency, which is responsible for maintaining rivers and waterways, said that it will not be removing the boat as it does not pose a pollution risk.

"Our officers have inspected the river around the sunken boat at the Nene Retail Park and are satisfied it is not impeding navigation, blocking flow in the channel, or causing environmental damage," said a spokesman for the EA.

"It is the responsibility of the boat owner or the landowner to arrange for its removal."