EA loses ma­rina li­cence case

Canal Boat - - News -

A COURT HAS ruled that the En­vi­ron­ment Agency can­not re­quire reg­is­tra­tion (li­cens­ing) for craft in off­line mari­nas that never en­ter the Thames.

AIn 2004 the EA ap­plied un­suc­cess­fully to the Sec­re­tary of State to ap­ply reg­is­tra­tion to ves­sels ‘kept’, rather than ‘used’ on its wa­ters – and to ex­tend this to ‘adjacent wa­ters’. In 2010 it was granted – but with­out the ex­ten­sion to ‘adjacent wa­ters’. De­spite this, in 2015 the Agency took 22 boaters at Thames & Ken­net and Pen­ton Hook mari­nas to court for fail­ing to reg­is­ter, claim­ing the Thames Con­ser­vancy Act (1932) gave it the power.

The boaters pleaded not guilty. The Judge dis­agreed, say­ing that if the ear­lier leg­is­la­tion had ap­plied, the EA would not have needed to ap­ply to ex­tend its ju­ris­dic­tion in 2004, and that it was “re­pug­nant” to try to do so “by the back door”.

The EA is con­sid­er­ing an ap­peal.

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