Maybe it’s time for us to start a Mead Lane channel, no sooner has a major victory been won as BANES are advised by the Judge that they would likely lose a judicial review than the residents take the law into their own hands again.
Following a Judicial Review challenge by Community Law Partnership (CLP) on behalf of a liveaboard boater, BaNES Council is reconsidering its decision to close the 14 day moorings at Mead Lane, Saltford, on the River Avon between the beginning of November and the end of February every year. The judicial review has therefore been stayed until the end of June 2021. We would encourage any boaters who are concerned about the loss of these moorings to make submissions to BaNES Council: contact Mandy_bishop@bathnes.gov.uk
In January 2020 BaNES Council attempted to close the 14-day moorings at Mead Lane, Saltford following a long campaign by local residents hostile to liveaboard boaters. Allegations were made that the mooring of boats had damaged the river bank. A decision was made to carry out a structural survey, which took place on 3rd September 2020. The survey by Atkins Global engineering consultancy found that there was no damage to the bank from moored boats.
Last week BaNES Council reversed the decision that it made in January and has re-opened the 14-day moorings at Mead Lane, Saltford on the River Avon, until a structural survey of the river bank is carried out and further consultation of interested parties has taken place. The U-turn followed a solicitor’s letter sent to the Council on behalf of boaters. This comes shortly after the BaNES Environmental Health department began taking steps in mid-May 2020 to evict liveaboards who had been moored at Mead Lane due to the suspension of boat movements for the Coronavirus lockdown.
Despite verbal and written submissions to the Council meeting from liveaboard boaters, BaNES Council cabinet voted on on 16th January 2020 to close Mead Lane moorings on the River Avon and to carry out a structural survey of the river bank. The Council has ordered boaters to leave the moorings within 21 days of the decision, even though the Avon is in flood and has been on red boards since 10th January, with CRT advising boaters that it is not safe to navigate.
If you are moored at Mead Lane, DO NOT MOVE unless it is safe. You can check for any updates on river conditions by phoning CRT on 0303 040 4040 or email
See also https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/notices
Liveaboard boaters will address BaNES Council on the importance of keeping the moorings at Mead Lane, Saltford open on Thursday 16th January 2020. The consultation report will be discussed by the Council’s cabinet at 7pm on 16th January at The Guildhall, Bath. The meeting is open to the public; Mead Lane moorings is item 15 on the agenda. The Council’s cabinet will take a final vote on which of the options outlined in the consultation report it will adopt.
BaNES Council is holding another consultation about the moorings at Mead Lane, Saltford, on the River Avon. The deadline is 31st October 2019. Please respond to this so that the views of boaters without a home mooring are heard. The survey is here:
There will be a a drop-in consultation session for the boating community on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 between 5pm and 8pm at Bath Cricket Club, North Parade Rd, Bath BA2 4EX. Please go if you can and make sure that BaNES Council understands how important it is for liveaboard boaters to continue to be able to moor at Mead Lane for 14 days and how this can make the difference between being able to renew your licence with no problems and having your licence restricted to 6 months or renewal refused with the consequent risk of Section 8 and homelessness.
A ‘Boats Are Homes’ demonstration in London will take place on 24th May 2019 starting with a rally on the Grand Union Canal next to Paddington station at 1pm and marching to the Canal & River Trust office at Little Venice, handing out leaflets to the public.