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Public body acting unlawfully

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Public body acting unlawfully

Postby waterworks » Sat Sep 17, 2016 8:53 pm

I have had problem with the canal and river trust, who are partly a public body, they have a statutory responsibility to issue boat licences, however they lied to me about the relevant legislation, and claimed they could refuse to issue me a licence, which they did for nearly two years until I found out this was unlawfull. They also misrepresented a previous court order that required me to remove my boat from their waters, which I complied with. They also attempted to cancel my licence when I finally found out I could in fact of had one all that time, and had no legal basis to do so. It took 126 days to get it back, and they breached their statutory obligations in the 1995 BW act.

Why did they do this ? Because their policy of obtaining court orders is flawed in that the order does not prevent the defendant from applying for a new licence, and they want to pretend it does. This trust is basing itself on unlawful interpretations of the relevant legislation, and doesn't like being found out.

I have been deprived of my "right" to a licence and therefore use my boat by their actions, which were contrary to the law ( statute) where do I go from here ?
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby atticus » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:44 pm

Claim for damages?
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby dls » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:14 pm

The 'obligation' to issue a licence is dependent on fulfilling conditions. That is why it is a licensing system. There is a clear anticipation that some applications will be refused.

I of course know nothing of your situation or your boat, but you oversimplify your description of the law. for example there used to be a requirement first for every boat to have a nominated mooring. This was often difficult. Without a mooring however, British Waerways or the environment agency were free to / required to refuse a licence. Similarly there is a requirement for insurance and safety standards.

My understanding is that historically there has always been a certain amount if tension between the free spirits who roam the waterways, and he necessarily bureauratic office workers. BW allowed many to get away with things where they strictly should have refused a licence.

There has been litigation about some of this and the legislation is not always straightforward.

Be sure that you have it right.
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:27 pm

dls wrote:Without a mooring however, British Waerways or the environment agency were free to / required to refuse a licence. Similarly there is a requirement for insurance and safety standards...

The boat doesn't need a mooring if it is one that is reasonably easily pulled out of the water. OP has said he has done this, though he didn't say it was easy...
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby atticus » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:44 pm

Remove from their waters.

Remove from the water.

Not necessarily the same.
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby dls » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:05 pm

Not necessarily the same.


Correct. Not all (but nearly all) waterways are within their regime. I am not sure that it extends to tidal sections, and several small bits are deemed non-navigable but may not always be are also excluded.

Also in the past the licensing was divided between the South East - (Environment Agency) and the rest (British Waterways). It was once common to move a boat between areas to avoid regulation.
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby dls » Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:47 pm

Take a look at
Broads Authority v Fry

http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Adm ... /4139.html

It shows some of the complications.
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Re: Public body acting unlawfully

Postby diy » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:41 am

If Boatbnb takes off it will be interesting to see how they approach licensing. Its becoming quite popular in marinas, though personally I can't think of anything more stupid. But it seems to get round many of the commercial requirements for renting a boat out. e.g. coding.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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