EA loses marina licence case
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.