...but Thames boater loses mooring case
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.