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Alan de Enfield

BWML Marinas - 'Unlawfully Living Aboard'

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Having read many of these posts I believe that surely many posts are irrelevant as I for one even though I have a marina berth spend plenty of time out of here on the cut and river and will never therefore be stuck in here as boats move wheras boring houses do not.

Surely most boaters take their boat out? There is no way I am going to spend anywhere near twelve months in here.

 

Tim

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Having read many of these posts I believe that surely many posts are irrelevant as I for one even though I have a marina berth spend plenty of time out of here on the cut and river and will never therefore be stuck in here as boats move wheras boring houses do not.

Surely most boaters take their boat out? There is no way I am going to spend anywhere near twelve months in here.

 

Tim

 

You're a proper boater, though.

 

Others are more.... floaters.

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Having read many of these posts I believe that surely many posts are irrelevant as I for one even though I have a marina berth spend plenty of time out of here on the cut and river and will never therefore be stuck in here as boats move wheras boring houses do not.

Surely most boaters take their boat out? There is no way I am going to spend anywhere near twelve months in here.

 

Tim

 

You're a proper boater, though.

 

Others are more.... floaters.

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Are they not required to accept all reccomedations? Surely cant pick just the ones that suit them?

 

I see you are now at Brandon Creek... watch out for the Ghost of Johnnie O'Hara! (a long story I'll tell you sometime over a pint!).. You there permanently, or still waiting for Denver/Salters?

Planning decisions are made by Elected Members, based upon the report submitted by the Planning Officer. There is no requirement for them to accept any of the Planning Officers recommendations, however, refusal which is not based upon Planning Law or Regulation, could lead to a successful appeal.

 

An appeal against any Consent granted not incorporating recommendatuions which the Planning Officer deemed sensible, but which are not covered by statute, is not likey to be successful.

Edited by David Schweizer

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Well, us poor old Joe Public (unless we are prepared to take an expensive route) can only go by the information available to us.

 

 

Keith

It didn't take too much scepticism and further research to locate the bit of law they were misinterpreting and realising it was irrelevant to boats.

 

It seems strange that they should reach the conclusions they have arrived at considering that they mention the cases where courts have found that residential moorings did not constitute a material change of use (Ladies Bridge, Wilcot, Wiltshire (Appeal ref APP/E3905/C/06/2019638) and Driffield Canal (Appeal ref APP/E2001/C/10/2122441))

Edited by carlt

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Surely most boaters take their boat out? There is no way I am going to spend anywhere near twelve months in here.

 

You live a sheltered life I reckon then. I'd say the vast majority of liveaboards in Thames and Kennet marina never go anywhere other than the pump out pontoon. And to see a dozen or two liveaboards that truly have NEVER moved in 50 years, visit Woodham on the Basingstoke...

 

MtB

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So you're not allowed to live on your boat in a marina (unless you're on a residential mooring) even though you're just minding your own business and not causing any problems. Intermittent cruising seems like an option, but because you have a job and you're not moving far enough you're deemed a bridge hopper and you're not allowed to do that either.

 

When did this country become such an over-regulated nightmare with its population blindly sleepwalking into accepting and even supporting it?

Edited by blackrose
  • Greenie 1

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The simple answer is probably not, it is most unlikely that the limited occupancy Planning conditions which apply to most caravan parks, would have been incorporated into the Planning Consent for recreational moorings. People often spend quite long periods away from their house, but it does not make them non-residential, or excempt from Council Tax.

There is a detail difference here in that the house itself (boat) moves rather than just the occupants. Interesting if it moves into another council area.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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There is a detail difference here in that the house itself (boat) moves rather than just the occupants. Interesting if it moves into another council area.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

 

 

 

But it's the land that the boat occupies that requires planning consent, not the boat itself.

 

Keith

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So you're not allowed to live on your boat in a marina (unless you're on a residential mooring) even though you're just minding your own business and not causing any problems. Intermittent cruising seems like an option, but because you have a job and you're not moving far enough you're deemed a bridge hopper and you're not allowed to do that either.

 

When did this country become such an over-regulated nightmare with its population blindly sleepwalking into accepting and even supporting it?

I don't think that is 100% correct

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But it's the land that the boat occupies that requires planning consent, not the boat itself.

 

Keith

 

Yes, but I was talking council tax not planning consent.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

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The BWML quote mentions boaters staying for the whole 12 months and therefore breaching the non residential clauses, does anyone know how long you can stay without becoming officially residential?

not sure but a caravan park that i do work on has a 6 week period between jan - mid feb where the residents have to go away and stay with friends/family to avoid the problem of permanent residential.

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There is a detail difference here in that the house itself (boat) moves rather than just the occupants. Interesting if it moves into another council area.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

Yes, but I was talking council tax not planning consent.

 

George ex nb Alton retired

 

It is not the boat, but the mooring which would be the subject of Residential Planning Consent. It does not matter whether the boat moves into another Local Authority from time to time. Most house dwellers take up short term residence in other Local Authority areas from time to time, and are entitled to make use of most Local Authority services while doing so, working on the reciprocal services arrangement in Local Government, based upon the assumtion that Council Tax is being paid to another Local Authority.

Edited by David Schweizer

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What about if you get a boat no VAT as it is for residential full time but live in a none residential marina? :banghead: :banghead:

 

Those two facts are not inter-dependent - - one bears no (practical) relevance to the other

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It would seem, unless I am very much mistaken, that I would not be acting lawfully if I resided on my Mum's boat all through the year, at a nearby marina. I genuinely thought that the marina staff had said (before boat was purchased) that residential moorings were available, and will check again today. But I am guessing only Grade 1 is available and reading through the AINA document late last night, and this thread, I am utterly mortified by what I read. I don't know what to do. I claim disability living allowance and need any residential address to be completely Kosher and my main residence. I have nowhere else to live...

 

I am feeling very negative today, I'll grant you, but it strikes me that Mum and I might be better to sell the boat, cut our losses and move on. With a divorce, ill parents, work stresses, this is becoming the straw that broke my proverbial camel's back. I am losing so much sleep worrying about all this and feel such a fool. I meant well, I just didn't do my research and don't know what to do...

 

Is it worth contacting Local Authority to ask about residential moorings available in my County or is that unwise?

 

I'm feeling a bit bereft today... :(

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It would seem, unless I am very much mistaken, that I would not be acting lawfully if I resided on my Mum's boat all through the year, at a nearby marina. I genuinely thought that the marina staff had said (before boat was purchased) that residential moorings were available, and will check again today. But I am guessing only Grade 1 is available and reading through the AINA document late last night, and this thread, I am utterly mortified by what I read. I don't know what to do. I claim disability living allowance and need any residential address to be completely Kosher and my main residence. I have nowhere else to live...

 

I am feeling very negative today, I'll grant you, but it strikes me that Mum and I might be better to sell the boat, cut our losses and move on. With a divorce, ill parents, work stresses, this is becoming the straw that broke my proverbial camel's back. I am losing so much sleep worrying about all this and feel such a fool. I meant well, I just didn't do my research and don't know what to do...

 

Is it worth contacting Local Authority to ask about residential moorings available in my County or is that unwise?

 

I'm feeling a bit bereft today... :(

 

 

There are very very few official residential moorings and those that there are often come at a premium, however if you look at a CRT long term mooring via the auction site on the CRT web site you could probably live on one of those and use your mothers address as your address for post. Many marinas allow live aboards "unoffically" as opposed to the CRT owned ones so go and speak to them as well.

 

Boating is not cheap You must have factored in the cost of moorings in your purchase if you spoke to the marina about mooring did you not? if this is a problem have a word with the council about getting housing benefit once you have found somewhere to stay. Have you got the boat insured and licensed I would do this straight away as you will need this for most moorings.

 

If you feel that with so much going on in your life the time is not right to take on living on the boat then maybe selling and living with your parents is an option until things are clearer. Either way I wish you luck and maybe spend a bit of time looking around different local marinas/moorings (see moorings advertised in waterways magazines) before making your decision.

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There are very very few official residential moorings and those that there are often come at a premium, however if you look at a CRT long term mooring via the auction site on the CRT web site you could probably live on one of those and use your mothers address as your address for post. Many marinas allow live aboards "unoffically" as opposed to the CRT owned ones so go and speak to them as well.

 

Boating is not cheap You must have factored in the cost of moorings in your purchase if you spoke to the marina about mooring did you not? if this is a problem have a word with the council about getting housing benefit once you have found somewhere to stay. Have you got the boat insured and licensed I would do this straight away as you will need this for most moorings.

 

If you feel that with so much going on in your life the time is not right to take on living on the boat then maybe selling and living with your parents is an option until things are clearer. Either way I wish you luck and maybe spend a bit of time looking around different local marinas/moorings (see moorings advertised in waterways magazines) before making your decision.

 

Thank you. Boat is insured and licenced as it belongs to my mother (who lives in Lincoln). I need to remain in Shropshire as it is where I work. I wanted to remain in the same village too and stay closer to neighbours and friends. I used to be housebound so I have a very small social network and it is all here. I had factored mooring costs in, but I realise now that the staff at the local marina knew I wanted to reside there but didn't tell me it wasn't strictly legal. I've been in touch with BWML and CRT today so await news.

 

I'm so tired with it all. All the fight is knocked out of me with all that's going on so I'm not sure I can fight this particular battle. Better to walk away and learn the hard way.

 

Just adding here that I spoke on the telephone to some lovely folk at various marinas today. One gentleman said "If you don't mind me saying so, you are being too honest" when I said that I couldn't, in good faith, sign a contract where I'm saying that I'm not using the boat as my permanent residence.

 

I'm trying to do the right thing (leaving it a bit late in life, but there you are). As it is, the marina where I hoped to live, was recently visited by a Local Authority member of staff who was 'asking questions' of residents and taking notes. That's not good. It's just my pride and my hopes that have taken a knock.

 

I'm just not looking forward to telling my mother, who stumped up the money to buy the boat in the first place. I hope she is in a forgiving mood...

 

Anyone want to buy a nice boat?

Edited by Salopgal

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Thank you.

 

I'm just not looking forward to telling my mother, who stumped up the money to buy the boat in the first place. I hope she is in a forgiving mood...

 

Anyone want to buy a nice boat?

We would! fascinating reading everyone - thanks everyone for teh information

Edited by StarUKKiwi

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I'm so tired with it all. All the fight is knocked out of me with all that's going on so I'm not sure I can fight this particular battle. Better to walk away and learn the hard way.

 

Anyone want to buy a nice boat?

 

Try not to be too dishearted.The "don't ask don't tell" scenario is very common. If the marina option isn't viable try looking for end of garden moorings, it is very likely that a place to suit your needs does exist but won't be advertised anywhere. In my experience a genuine residential mooring is almost non existent, by speaking to the owner of the land/marina you will very soon develop a feeling for the wording used to skirt around dealing directly with the issue, "full and regular access to the boat" is a common one, pretty much anything that avoids the use of the words residential or liveaboard. I'm not suggesting that you base your life choices around breaking rules but just pointing out the strange scenario where the vast majority of boaters that do not continuously cruise and have permanent moorings exist quite happily without fixed security of tenure.

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Just to say - It's not impossible - We did it.

We sold our house, and moved in with friends. We had been watching the BW mooring auctions for a good time and had noted which ones were residential, and which were in an area suitable. (We were prepared to be flexible) We had used the internet to find marinas with official residential moorings and decided which we would visit if we had not found an online mooring. We prefer an online mooring, but would try marina life if necessary.

We booked a helmsman course and did that. (Never been on a narrowboat except at the boat show before!)

Our dream mooring went up and completed at auction the week we completed our house sale. (We won it) We went looking at boats, and found one we loved, and bought it. Lock stoppages meant we spent a couple of months in a marina, where we had a lovely time and met lots of friendly people.

Then we spent a couple of weeks, in the most beautiful spring weather last year, moving our boat from Crick to Shropshire, had a great time, moved on to our fully residential mooring, and met our new and friendly neighbours.

Lucky? maybe? But things worked out and we are now very happy.

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Just to say - It's not impossible - We did it.

We sold our house, and moved in with friends. We had been watching the BW mooring auctions for a good time and had noted which ones were residential, and which were in an area suitable. (We were prepared to be flexible) We had used the internet to find marinas with official residential moorings and decided which we would visit if we had not found an online mooring. We prefer an online mooring, but would try marina life if necessary.

We booked a helmsman course and did that. (Never been on a narrowboat except at the boat show before!)

Our dream mooring went up and completed at auction the week we completed our house sale. (We won it) We went looking at boats, and found one we loved, and bought it. Lock stoppages meant we spent a couple of months in a marina, where we had a lovely time and met lots of friendly people.

Then we spent a couple of weeks, in the most beautiful spring weather last year, moving our boat from Crick to Shropshire, had a great time, moved on to our fully residential mooring, and met our new and friendly neighbours.

Lucky? maybe? But things worked out and we are now very happy.

 

 

I am very pleased to read a 'happy ending' story, and it's a nice way to close this chapter for me. For lots of reasons, some of them legality issues, but largely "I'm too knackered for a fight right now", my Mum sees that it's sensible to sell and that's what we've decided to do. We decided over the weekend. Still having the 'handover' day with the previous owner at end of this week... :wacko:

 

I've had a week of nightmarish turmoil, waking up feeling sick to the stomach about the loss, but then I think "Hey, nobody died - just move on". It was a dream that didn't work out. Fact is, I am too tired going through a divorce, having poorly parents et al to worry about this anymore. It'll just have to be rented bricks and mortar for me in the future (yuk) and hope someone else loves the boat as much as I did (and Mum did) and decides to buy it.

 

Thanks one and all for your support in everything. I learnt a lot and maybe made a friend or too in my short time in 'boat land'...

 

K

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I could be wrong but in BWML terms I believe that to be wrong. As I understand it they offer 3 types ofmooring. 'Residential' is exactly what it says on the tin and doesn't seem to be available at all of it's marinas. 'Grade 1' is extended or high usage, I.e. somebody who wants to spend say 3 or 4 nights a week on their boat but has an address elsewhere. 'Grade 2' is for the equivalent of a CRT leisure mooring.

 

I can see how it is difficult for the Grade 1 occupation to be enforced and I would imaging that people are taking up grade 1 and grade 2 moorings and in fact being unofficially fully residential on them. I would imagine they have decided to try and cra k down on this and are using the planing permission situation as their reason. It's more likely to be because they have realised people are getting away with paying less than they should be and want the extra money.

 

I recently went to a BWML marina to ask about a mooring vacancy. I plan to be 'living' on my boat week on week off and on the weeks I am not on the boat I will be at work out of the country. For the time I am in the UK the boat will in fact be where I 'live' but will use my parents address for post and official purposes. BWML told me I would be fine with a grade 1 mooring but not a grade 2 as it would be outside the terms of use.

 

I also rang my local CRT mooring manager who also told me with myplanned usage for the boat, I could 'live' on a CRT leisure mooring week on week off.

I realise that this is an old thread but what you have written here if fascinating and I would love proof if you have it.

Whilst BWML where telling you this they where telling us that the only acceptable proof of alternate address was a council tax bill in your own name for a property you had sole use of and if you couldn't provide that they would automatically charge you full Residential Rate.... There was an alternative of proving you paid tax in another country but that does not seem to be the case with you

 

Andy

Edited by Andy Kayll

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I thought I would just add my experience of BWML to this thread.

We took a grade one mooring with the company back in 2008. We were told we could live aboard and were given an address to boot.

Now we have been told to prove we have another address or leave.

Mmmmm. We were ok 5 years ago but now????????

Also, back in 2005 they did provide a 'liveaboard' mooring but then changed it to 'grade 1'. Does this mean that no-one should have been living aboard since then, and have they been trading illegaly???

To add insult to injury we were denied access to a residential mooring because they had a 'criteria list' and we didn't fit it due to advice from the citizens advice bureau. Something only decided by Darren Bramall just before they released the paperwork (I don't think that he likes us).

After seeing their moorings double in price and then getting virtually kicked off the marina we've had enough of them and their bullying ways.

We now have bricks and mortar, but I do miss the way of life. The company spoilt 3 years of life for us.

I wished Ripon had another marina so that we could have been close to family and friends, but monopolies don't like neighbours.

If they cared for their customers more then their customers would care for them more.

Living afloat is not cheap but increases like the ones that we had to endure are not necessary. Especially when we had nothing spent at our marina.

One day I will return to the waterways.

Residential status may get the company off the hook legally but it seems to be just another price hike now boaters have to fund CaRT.

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