CABE, the Government's design watchdog, has fiercely criticised Peel Holdings' plans to put floating homes on Princes Half Tide Dock in Liverpool.
In a letter to the architects of the novel scheme, KKA, the design review body said: "We do not wish to comment on the architecture of the proposals. We object to the principal of building within the basin and, as such, we think that planning permission should be refused.
"The introduction of ostensibly permanent homes within the basin – which offer neither the advantages of a house with its own plot nor the flexibility of a houseboat and mooring – will diminish the amenity value and dockside ambience of the basin to an unacceptable degree."
The planning committee of Liverpool City Council is expected to decide on the application, made last December, next month.
No-one from Peel Holdings was immediately available for comment.