EA appeals in licensing case
THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY’S legal battle with Thames boaters over the need for registration (licensing) of boats that never leave offline marinas has continued after the Agency lodged an appeal after losing the first round.
As reported in our January issue, the EA’s attempt to use a 1932 Act of Parliament to force 22 boaters based in Thames & Kennet and Penton Hook marinas to register their craft was dismissed in a Reading court case. The judge said the EA, which had tried unsuccessfully in 2004 to get Parliament to extend its licensing powers to ‘adjacent waters’, was now trying to do so “by the back door”.
However, the Agency has decided to take it to the next level. Navigation Manager Andrew Graham said: “Unless and until we have a High Court decision that requires us to change our position, we remain of the view that all marinas connected to the main channel of the River Thames form part of the river as defined by the Thames Conservancy Act 1932.”