The consultation on the Kennet and Avon Canal Local Mooring Strategy has been delayed by a month in order to accommodate BW’s consultation on changes to the terms and conditions of Houseboat Certificates. The Local Mooring Strategy consultation is now planned to run from the end of June until the end of October 2012. Unusually for BW, who have often run shorter consultations contrary to the Government’s Code of Practice on Consultations, this is longer than the minimum period of 12 weeks. This is in line with Government recommendations about allowing longer over holiday periods.
The Houseboat Certificate consultation is the result of complaints about BW’s attempts to unlawfully change the terms and conditions of Houseboat Certificates contrary to Section 16 and Schedule 1 of the 1995 British Waterways Act. That is a practice of BW we are all familiar with. The complaints from Houseboat Certificate holders were first made around nine years ago and have been ongoing since then. If you live on one of the few BW moorings with planning permission for residential use it is well worth applying for a Houseboat Certificate, as this gives you greater security of tenure. It is the only form of mooring agreement where BW have to provide a replacement mooring if they close down or carry out work to the mooring you are on. There is a lot of useful information about Houseboat Certificates and BW’s unlawful attempts to change them on the Liveaboard Forum blog here http://liveaboard-forum.blogspot.com
The Houseboat Certificate consultation documents are on BW’s web site here http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/listening-to-you/consultations-and-reviews/current-consultations