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NigelMoore last won the day on November 10 2016

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  1. Charges for the Bridgewater Canal

    For those wishing to shove their oar in at this stage, there is the IWA recommendation here - https://www.waterways.org.uk/news/view?id=280
  2. Charges for the Bridgewater Canal

    There is quite some movement from IWA, CaRT, and individual boaters. Recommendations from the IWA, I understand, call for representations to be made to your MP [if locally resident]. The query has been raised whether Peel are entitled to charge anything at all for pleasure boats transiting the canal. Nothing I have seen thus far from quoted legislation would suggest that they [legally] can.
  3. Interestingly, while reading through the Petition of the Brentford Boaters Association against the BW Bill of 1990, I came across the claim that a Judicial Review was even then in progress over BW's use of s.8. I have never heard of this before, and do not even know whether it ran the course or was anything more than a threat. It would be interesting to find that it did proceed to judgment, and if so what was decided. I suspect that BW would have been given the OK if it did go ahead. Certainly a group of boaters on the fully tidal section were forced off their moorings by Bensted using s.8 a few years before he tried that on me, and the County Court judge thought BW were entirely within their rights. Bensted's post 1990 actions cannot, however, be taken to suggest a successful outcome from a decided Judicial Review; they happily continued s.8 actions below the Thames Locks even post my Appeal Court judgment, so an adverse JR result would have made no difference to them.
  4. I spent a day last Friday searching through the Parliamentary Archives for a copy of the annotated map of the Winsford Bottom Flash, referred to in the BW undertaking to the RYA, indicating the confines of the main navigable channel of the Weaver that would be subject to the 1971 registration demands once the southernmost section of the Weaver was added to the Scheduled river waterways. It would be the perfect answer to Mrs Justice Asplin’s belief that they would never have countenanced such a situation. Sadly, this must be in the portion of the relevant box that remains “closed” to public viewing, because I found no trace even of the undertakings – though these are downloadable from the KANDA and NABO websites. Still, I found an extraordinary item from the open boxes while sorting through Friday’s photos. Back in 1990, when the new London Waterways manager Mark Bensted was setting out to make a name for himself, some 30 boats were issued s.8 Notices, and in response to protest from the newly formed Brentford Boaters Association, Bensted responded by saying that the existing licences would be “revoked to coincide with the expiry date of the Section 8 notice.” So the boats were licensed, and would be licensed right up to the date they were to be seized by BW for being left or moored on the waterways without the lawful authority of the boat licence! They have come a long way from the extremes of that outrageous procedure [at least they now revoke the licence first], but the rationale of the actions remains the same. No wonder the Select Committee looked askance at BW’s protestations that s.8 was only used as a last resort, and never for the purpose of enforcing mooring restrictions. As BW had been using it so recently for mass evictions of even licensed boats, their abuse of the power was all too evident even back then. What was even worse, of course, was that Bensted was ordering the Patrol Officer to issue those s.8's on boats below the Gauging Locks, when the Patrol Officer's own notes on the Patrol Record sheets of the time, acknowledges that no licences were required! One wonders whether Mrs Justice Asplin have approved of this even so, considering as she does that s.8 is the most acceptable means of ensuring the safety and good management of the waterways. The further photo collection exhibited by the BBA, however, highlighted the fact that s.8 boats were towed to and attached to the weir immediately above the Thames Locks, where they sunk on the first high tide - not to mention the work boats etc left lying around obstructing those locks. Hardly a demonstration of using s.8 for the greater safety of other boaters.
  5. License Fee Consultation

    The difference between river registrations and the all waterways licence again brings up interesting anomolies over the charging regime. Under the 1983 Act, while charges for a certificate was pegged at a maximum percentage of the licence, any increases proposed for the certificates had additionally to be subjected to scrutiny by the IWAAC. Despite certain objectors, under the umbrella of the Public Bodies Bill the IWAAC were abolished. So - does that mean [because the rises can no longer be approved by the IWAAC] that no increases in charges for certificates can any longer be made, regardless of how high the licences are hiked? It is a nice point, though I am aware of course of argument to the opposite effect.
  6. Business licence fees ?

    Not "commonly agreed". The 1962 Transport Act having specifically removed the need for being "reasonable" in legitimate charges and conditions, some more modern general legislation expressly imposing that condition regardless, would have to be argued by way of implied repeal. As I stated earlier: the immediately preceding relevant legislation which the 1962 Act replaced, DID contain the need for charges and conditions to be reasonable, testable by reference to an independent tribunal; that was abolished by s.43 of the 1962 Act. Outrageous, yes, but remaining on the statute books as applicable to CaRT.
  7. Business licence fees ?

    Perhaps it should be. However it would seem that CaRT take the view that this falls outside of the purview of the pleasure boat licence. If that is a valid view - such that this business licence is a purely contractual matter designed as a vehicle for grant of permission to use the boat for trading from the towpath - then contractual terms apply, and the freedom to enter into that contract applies to both parties. Hence, CaRT would be in a position to refuse their permission to allow the boat to be used in such a fashion should they so choose. Only issue of the "relevant consents" - which would exclude the business use licence - are subject to the obligation under the 1995 Act without further conditioning applying. Taking an unjaundiced view of the matter, I suspect that this is all an unwinnable line of argument, taking Byelaw 30 into consideration.
  8. Unjustifiable marina costs

    Strictly speaking, yes. It makes no difference to the boatyard whether your external contractor does the work for a fortune or for free.
  9. Business licence fees ?

    The Byelaw does not forbid trading on their waters as such, though if I understand Byelaw 30 correctly, then you do need CaRT's permission to trade from your boat at its mooring along the towpath [and as Alan previously remarked, it would be awkward trading while in transit]. I apprehend that using your boat as a shop falls into that category. That being so, it would be legitimate for them to grant or withhold such permission subject to payment, under whatever conditions they wished. The whole effect of s.43 of the 1962 Act [viewed historically in the context of levying charges and imposing conditions for that which they are enabled], was specifically to remove the need for reasonableness, contrary to what had previously been the case - so your presumption is correct. Whatever the form of contract then, that they ask for, is what would comprise their permission. Using a 'Boat Business Licence' as a vehicle for the grant of permission is probably as simple a means as any.
  10. Business licence fees ?

    I think you mean they would come under the “relevant consents” of the 1995 Act? I cannot personally see how ‘contractual’ licences could come under those; the statutory conditions of 1995 apply to consents which the authority is obliged to issue, so long as the conditions for those are met; ‘contractual’, to me, embodies a degree of choice on both sides. A contractual boat licence need not be ultra vires, but why would you choose one if the authority was obliged to issue a pleasure/commercial boat licence? The boat would have a valid relevant consent, and whatever you did with the boat – provided within the byelaws, is no further business of the authority. Still, if you were correct and these licences were a matter of agreement between parties, outwith the otherwise relevant legislation, then the agreed conditions and charges would apply and no recourse to the 1995 Act would be possible. The practical effect would be an agreement on CaRT’s part not to prosecute for breach of the relevant byelaws. For so long as that entailed no infringement upon use of the towpath by others, I see no problem from a purely pragmatic viewpoint.
  11. Business licence fees ?

    Don't doubt it for a minute - but what does that have to do with the statutory restriction on doing so? Perhaps I ought more punctiliously to have said: "those cannot - legally - be charged for at a rate more than that charged for the standard pleasure boat".
  12. Business licence fees ?

    However that might be, as Muddy Ditch Rich has observed, there are only two classes of boat licence provided for in the legislation – Pleasure Boats and Commercial Boats. Commercial boat Licences are confined to those that carry cargo on Cruising Waterways; Pleasure Boats are the only category that can be sub-divided as per the 1971 Act, to meet the statutorily imposed parity with Pleasure Boat Certificates. So sub-categories of the Pleasure Boat Licence might include hire boats, shared ownership boats, trading boats, electric boats etc, etc, but those cannot be charged for at a rate more than that charged for the standard pleasure boat. They could be charged the same of course.
  13. Visitor Mooring on Thames

    Another item that ought to be of interest to those using the tidal Thames – years ago, when local amenity groups were objecting to the proposed development on the north bank of Kew Bridge, we succeeded in getting a condition that a visitor mooring pontoon be installed. Since being built, however, the gates have remained locked, and no bollards were provided, with no advertising of its availability to the general public anyway, and with certain design flaws that endanger local canoe club users. I and others have met with local councillors to urge improvement of safety aspects and making it available for public use as was the intent, but with concerted antagonism from the canoe club and some local moorers and residents, planning consent for demolition has been applied for. Really, it is down to boaters to contribute to opening up an improved version of this pontoon for their benefit, on the grounds that the Blue ribbon Network policies of the London Plan insist on preservation of such facilities [ LP Policy 7.27 ]. Date: Our Ref: 25/07/2017 P/2017/3113 TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING ACT 1990 PLANNING (LISTED BUILDING AND CONSERVATION AREAS) ACT 1990 Site: LAND ADJACENT TO KEW BRIDGE KEW BRIDGE ROAD BRENTFORD Development: Demolition of the pontoon. The Council has received an application for planning permission to carry out the development described above and you are invited to comment on the application before a decision is made. If you wish to comment, please note the following points: The application and any supporting plans are now available through the planning pages of the Council’s website at www.hounslow.gov.uk/planning . Hard copies of this application will not be kept at the Civic Centre, or your local library. You can find this application by clicking on ‘search planning applications’ and entering the planning number shown at the top of this page (or by entering the relevant postcode) into the planning application search facility. Comments on this application can be made directly from these pages on the web. If you would like more information about the application the case officer’s details can be found on the Council’s web site. Objections can be sent directly to the officer or registered on our website. Comments must be received in writing within 21 days of the date of this letter. Comments received after this date will still be considered if a decision has not been made. Objections made on previous applications will not be taken into account. Please note when making comments on this application you need to quote the above reference number on all correspondence. In deciding whether to make any comments on the application, you may wish to take into account the following advice on what are relevant PLANNING considerations which the Council can take into account in making a decision to grant or refuse planning permission: 1. Any planning application has to be evaluated against the Council's planning policies, which are set out in the Local Plan which is available on the Council’s website: http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/environment_and_planning/planning/planningpolicy.htm There is a presumption in favour of applications which comply with the Plan. 2. The Council also has a number of other adopted guidelines against which relevant planning applications have to be judged, such as guidelines on House Extensions. Copies of these documents are available for inspection on the Councils website: http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/environment_and_planning/planning.htm 3. Other planning matters such as overlooking, loss of light, visual appearance and traffic and parking will be taken into account. These planning matters do not include matters to do with loss of property values, the personal circumstances of the applicant (except in certain exceptional cases) or property boundary disputes. An acknowledgement will be sent for all objections received via email through the website. Due to the large volumes of correspondence received in connection with applications, no other communication will be sent. All comments will be taken into account in the assessment of the application. If the application is to be recommended for refusal, or objections are made against an application, this application is then placed on a weekly list called Pending Decisions, posted on the council website at the end of the working week. http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/index/environment_and_planning/planning/pending_decisions.htm Councillors can ask that applications on this list be referred to Area Forums for discussion, giving planning reasons why they are making this request. The Area Forum will decide whether the decision to approve or refuse the application should be made by Planning Committee, or by planning officers. Should the application be reported to Committee for decision and you have made written representations, we will notify you of the date of the committee meeting. You can follow the progress of this application by clicking on ‘search planning applications’ and entering the planning number shown at the top of this page (or by entering the relevant postcode) into the planning application search facility Decisions on planning applications can be found from viewing the weekly lists of decisions. In the event of an appeal against a refusal of planning permission, any representations made about this application will be sent to the Secretary of State, and there may be no further opportunity to comment at appeal stage.
  14. Visitor Mooring on Thames

    This might be an appropriate place to highlight another Thames Council's intention to introduce byelaws along their own waterfront - PR 8779 04 August 2017 For Immediate Release Views needed on new borough-wide moorings byelaw Residents are being asked to give their views to Hounslow Council on a proposed byelaw to prevent unauthorised mooring of boats along the banks of the River Thames in the borough. The byelaw would enable the Council to restrict and control the mooring of boats along areas of Hounslow’s riverbanks with an aim to stop unauthorised mooring which causes problems to those boat owners who have prior approval from the Council. Problems caused by unauthorised moorings include: Inability to move the boats without resorting to lengthy legal action Appearance/condition of the boats which is a nuisance to the area Illegal and anti-social behaviour Interference with residents/visitors to enjoy the public open space Many owners are using the boats as either permanent or as rentals accommodation, meaning the unauthorised boat owners are profiting at the Council’s expense. Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said: “Boats that are moored unlawfully are being unfair to those owners who pay their mooring fees and those who visit our waterways. “This consultation will give us a platform from which we can develop the byelaw to prevent unauthorised moorings. “There is a huge amount of regeneration taking place in Hounslow and we want to make sure we have a clean, safe and accessible environment that can be enjoyed by all.” To give your views please visit www.hounslow.gov.uk/consultations the consultation runs until Friday 3 November.
  15. Unjustifiable marina costs

    The British Marine Federation template for boatyard/marina businesses always contained the proviso that use of external contractors to work on clients’ boats within their premises was subject to prior approval. It is reasonable for the yard to impose a charge for that approval, which otherwise effectively takes business away from them. Our own [Brentford Marine Services Ltd] Terms of Business also, in common with all other such businesses I knew of, conditioned sale of a vessel on the premises to be subject to a percentage of the sale. The rationale is perfectly reasonable – if the boat is sold with the benefit of a mooring, that benefit is in the gift of the moorings provider, such that the increased value when selling on a mooring is properly due to the supplier. As others have said: nothing prevents anybody from removing the boat and selling elsewhere – it is unlikely to fetch the same premium however, so you need to do the maths to work out whether selling minus a mooring is worth it.