...but Thames boater loses moor­ing case

Canal Boat - - News -

IN A SEP­A­RATE case, a boater has failed in his sec­ond at­tempt to get moor­ing re­stric­tions in­tro­duced on the semi-tidal Thames in West Lon­don thrown out.

Un­til early 2015 there was no re­stric­tion on moor­ing on Rich­mond Bor­ough Coun­cil’s land, and lengths of river­bank had be­come home to res­i­den­tial moor­ers with no need to be li­censed (this part of the river is not ad­min­is­tered by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency). When the coun­cil passed a by­law ban­ning moor­ing on its land (other than tem­po­rar­ily for an hour or in emer­gen­cies) with­out spe­cific per­mis­sion, some boaters said they had been there for sev­eral years and would have nowhere to go.

Christopher Aik­er­man had claimed that the cre­ation of the by­law was un­law­ful in com­mon law, was for an im­proper pur­pose, and in­fringed his hu­man rights by deny­ing him the right to fam­ily life and mak­ing him home­less, but he lost in court and has now lost on ap­peal.

The judge agreed with the orig­i­nal rul­ing that the by­law didn’t make boaters home­less as other moor­ings were avail­able; that ban­ning per­ma­nent moor­ing which had pre­vented ac­cess to the river by other peo­ple was a valid pur­pose for a by­law; and that a boater couldn’t claim a piece of river­bank owned by some­one else was part of his home when we was, in ef­fect, a tres­passer there.

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