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NigelMoore last won the day on October 15 2017

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  1. The same clause was inserted into most enabling Acts, though I cannot say of my own knowledge that ALL of them did. Granting such rights, amongst others, to land owners through whose property canals were to be cut, was designed to encourage support (or at least remove objections) for otherwise unpopular compulsory purchase powers to run cargo-carrying enterprises through private property. Promotional publicity for such Acts often also actively promoted the "wellbeing" aspect of private pleasure boating! In promoting the 1990 Bill that became the 1995 Act, BW sought initially to have all such rights abolished under the proposed clause 27, but they were forced to withdraw it in the face of fierce objections. As a result they attempted instead thereafter, to circumscribe the extent of such rights by argument in each case. They succeeded in Yardley Gobion, respecting how far into one's own land the water could be extended, but failed in Swan Hill Developments respecting whether the right to build bridges over the canal applied to 'single' or only 'double' riparian owners, and whether the rights only attached to original landowners rather than successors in title.
  2. Done most notoriously in the 1998 Yardley Gobion marina case. What is of significance in that case to the current topic is the argument for BW that actually accepted the right of riparian owners to cut away the banks to form a lay-by; it was the extension of that right to create a marina that was (successfully) argued against. Sadly, though understandably, BW & CaRT have resolutely declined to publish the judgment.
  3. Nobody is likely to either - I cannot see any boater having secured a nice towpath mooring bringing a case objecting to its provision, and boaters in general, while possibly grumbling over removal of the public facility, are too supine (or practical?) to take up cudgels in the public interest.
  4. I don’t intend to get drawn into argument over this again Alan (not for one minute suggesting that was your intention), for reasons I have given when considering the same issues in previous similar topics over the years. At least: I do not wish to make a personal issue over it – Johnson shot himself in the foot over this when attempting to justify charging for towpath moorings under the new ‘charitable’ regime, his reasoning for which only emphasised for me, that removing free public towpath use was against every legal tenet applicable to every original enabling Act I have ever read, hence - under the 1962 Transport Act as amended following the BW Transfer of Functions Order - forbidden to CaRT and BW, as it was to all their predecessors. That is the legal aspect, but there are pragmatic and ‘humanitarian’ factors to consider when viewing long established practices inherited from the cowboy years. Boaters should doubtless be able to rely on some form of ‘legitimate expectation’ despite that doctrine availing nothing in circumstances where statutory obligations have been flouted (as per Rowlands v EA). CaRT are arguably worse than any predecessor, but can at least now be challenged as to any new proposals under the terms cited.
  5. There are separate clauses guaranteeing free public access to towpaths by walkers and cyclists; such use would be inclusive within the quoted section, not exclusive of boats wanting access for mooring to the towpath.
  6. Not so Alan. My own view is that BW never had any right to lease towpath space for private purposes, but at least government specifically enshrined that view within the terms of the Settlement Agreement respecting CaRT, such that SoS approval is also compulsory for leasing towpaths - 2.4 The Trustee must obtain the Settlor’s prior written consent before: 2.4.1 disposing of any part of the Infrastructure Property . . . by way of any leasehold disposal that would have the effect of restricting any generally available public access to the Infrastructure Property existing at the time of the disposal (for the avoidance of doubt the Parties agree that all towpaths are generally available to public access at the time of disposal);
  7. I looked over that when it was on display in the Earl's Court boat show. The chap said he did the trip alone and unsupported.
  8. 'Gilgie' as poster-boat for Ballymore's redevelopment of Brentford town centre, encouraging the belief that their plans enthusiastically embrace the waterfront -
  9. To recap then: A 'licence' is exactly what it sounds like – formal permission to do something, without which permission it would be unlawful to do so. 'Registration' is a statutorily imposed identification system having nothing to do with a grant of permission to do anything. Invariably, all canal enabling Acts conferred a right for the public to keep and use boats on them, but invariably also, there was a requirement for all boats to be registered, so that the companies could keep tabs on the boats for charging purposes, and for identifying the boats in the event of any breach of byelaws. By contrast, on rivers, the right to keep and use boats derives from the public right of navigation, and such things as registration requirements did not apply either. Note that even on rivers, charges could be made for things authorised as chargeable by statute, e.g passage through locks. From the passage of the 1968 Transport Act, all conferred navigation rights were abolished. That expressly excluded navigation rights that were not conferred, even if confirmed by some statute. Following 1968 therefore, use by boats of the canals became permissive as opposed to use of the rivers where it remained as of right. In 1975 the BW Act was passed adding to the byelaw making powers a power to demand and charge for licences on the non-river waterways, and accordingly the 1975 byelaws were passed making it obligatory to display licences on the canals. Sadly, BW were in such a rush they forgot that they had not passed the necessary byelaw to make licences compulsory in the first place (!) so the very next year they abolished the 1975 byelaws and passed new ones, making the licence obligatory AND requiring prominent display of same. Registration continued as it always had been, compulsory. The 1971 Act had made no licensing obligatory for boats on rivers, it simply imposed a registration requirement on some of them (the number increased over the years) for a small charge, issue of which could not be refused, nor any conditions attached. Once having paid for this registration for pleasure boats, they were freed from the previous toll demands for individual lock passage. Not until 1995 were any conditions applied to issue of river registrations, and the conditions were limited to the three we all know so well. Of course, if the old BW/CaRT argument over s.43 of the 1962 Act held true, none of the relevant Acts would have been needed, but the argument being nonsense, the statutes were indeed necessary before any of these conditions of use and charging could be made. The old BW EoG 'Informative' was broadly accurate in setting out the details and history in abbreviated and elliptical form. I suppose, from a VAT viewpoint, the charges for registration could be considered to be merely covering an administrative cost, whereas charges for licences could be considered as payment for an offered service or product. The 1983 watering down of the charge level distinction might well attenuate the difference - in perception anyway.
  10. I can't recall having gone into this much at all, let alone in detail. The legal distinction between 'licence' and 'registration certificate' yes – but VAT liability for either is a matter for the government and HMRC. The 'rules' on VAT applicable matters chop and change so frequently I cannot be bothered to keep up with them. CaRT have claimed in times past that the difference between them and the EA re boat licence VAT liability (they continue to misuse the word 'licence' for the EA registration certificates too), lies not in the nature of the product but in a specific and special dispensation granted to the EA but not to CaRT. Again, it would take time out of more pressing matters for me to delve into it, but I suspect that a lot of hogwash is promulgated on all sides and parties respecting this. The EA state that “VAT does not apply to charges for environmental permits and licences”, but certainly do “charge VAT on some of the optional services they offer”. I will leave it to you and others on this topic sorry Alan! It has been traversed under various themes here previously, e.g. -
  11. If you have paid VAT for which you were not liable, you can reclaim it from HMRC. If the 'mistake' was down to HMRC, you can claim interest on it also; if the 'mistake' was that of the provider, HMRC will not award you any interest. Many boaters of larger 'houseboats' qualifying for zero-rating have been able, on obtaining the necessary proof of being a 'qualifying ship', to reclaim VAT from HMRC paid out for some years previous. I forget the number of years applying.
  12. British Waterways Act 1983 Section 4(1) “. . . . Provided that the charge payable for the registration of a pleasure boat shall not at any time exceed 60 per centum of the amount which would be payable to the Board for the licensing of such vessel on any inland waterway other than a river waterway . . .” Previous to this Act BW were bound by specific charges for pleasure boat registrations on the rivers, as laid down in the 1971 Act as amended. Once mandatory pleasure boat licences for the canals were introduced in the 1976 byelaws (pursuant to new powers granted under the BWA 1975), the 1983 Act allowed for flexibility and raising of prices for river registration certificates, but limited the amounts to the percentage of the equivalent licence, as quoted above.
  13. They do, but the owner is very jealous of his privacy and does not wish it to be generally known. All those with boats in the marina were offered apparently favourable terms to remain, pro-tem, so unless site work has been commenced, there would be no need for any of the boats there to be removed.
  14. Correct. The 'minimum width for the Oxford' not for the boat. Agreed, I could have phrased it more clearly.
  15. 7'2" (2.18 mtrs) is wider than the statutory minimum width for the Oxford of 2.13 mtrs.
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