British Waterways Seek to Evict Boats

Challenge in Royal Courts of Justice

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A landmark judgment will be handed down in the Royal Courts of Justice next week concerning the powers of the Canal & River Trust [formerly British Waterways] to evict boats moored on the tidal River Brent section of the Grand Union Canal. Subsequent to boats from Ridgeways boatyard being forcibly dragged out by Ballymore onto the mainstream navigation mid 2007, the former BW acted promptly to eject those boats from the waterways altogether, alleging that they were unlicensed and unlawfully moored. Mr Moore challenged their rights to do so and instigated High Court proceedings against the authority.

In the course of the lengthy set of proceedings now in their sixth year, Mr Moore succeeded in establishing that boats did not need to be licensed if they remained on the tidal section below the Gauging Locks north of Brentford High Street; the High Court judge last year, however, nonetheless found that BW could evict boats unable to establish a positive “lawful authority” in the absence of BW’s permission to moor. Mr Moore appealed, and the judgment next Thursday is expected to determine whether the remaining charge of being “unlawfully moored” is sustainable.

There will be a Public Inquiry on Tuesday 12 March at 10am at the Civic Centre, Lampton Road. This is relating to the lawful development certificate application to London Borough of Hounslow for Certificate of Lawfulness for existing use of moorings for up to 3 narrow boats with small storage shed, main power, mains water and garden at Ridgeways Wharf, Brent Way, Brentford TW8 8ES.

Members of the public may attend. Documents and progress can be read online here

February 12, 2013

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