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JennyMorgan

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I cannot remember on which forum, or which thread, but as soon as it was made public that the BA were giving up the lease on Thorpe Green, I suggested that Roger and / or the people who moor on Thorpe Island should make an approach to the town council with a view to purchasing or leasing part of the Thorpe Green mooring to ensure that access to and from the island is maintained.

This is NOT a debate about live aboards, however for many years those using dinghy's to row back and forth across the river have been flouting the BA 24hr mooring rule. The not staying longer than 24hrs is generally complied with I would imagine, but the no return within 24hrs is not. Some have rubbed salt in the wound because when the BA tried to accommodate this transgression by providing dinghy only areas, many ignored the notices and just rowed straight across and moored anywhere along the mooring.

It looks like the parish council are now looking to rent out some of the mooring as long term mooring, whilst retaining a section for visitors. Common sense says that if that visitor section is overwhelmed by dinghy's back and forth then there will be no where for genuine visitors to moor, hence the policing of the mooring with contract law. I also rather suspect (rightly or wrongly) that regular transgression of the mooring rules will incur penalty charges, whereas the occasional transgression whether for tide or hire boats with different parties on board will not even be pursued. There is a town council agenda here and I'm sure it is not aimed at those who may stop at Thorpe on the way into Norwich, and again on the way out of Norwich.

So where does this leave the people who moor on the island? I rather suspect it leaves them with no official access unless they reach an agreement with the town council, which I also suspect will involve some sort of financial contribution. Slightly more ominous is the purchase of the land to the West and the closing of the bridge to traffic from the 10th April which will mean have to trespass to exit the island on foot that way. It does rather look like a planned, joined up approach has been used to reach a certain goal.

If I moored on the island, I would either be looking for another mooring, or speaking rather quickly to the town council about securing proper access, even if that meant renting a section of the mooring.

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There is much talk about River Green being a public staithe. It was not in Roy Kemps book because it is not a public staithe.I have been in touch with Prof. Wilkinson about this. It was owned by the lord of the manor for loading of marl from the hill opposite. At the time of the 1800 enclosure the owner of The Buck (tenant of the Lord of the manor) registered an interest in the staithe as The Buck also sold coal which was loaded here. At the end of the 19C the Green was causing problems for the Lord of the Manor, because itinerant preachers attracted large crowds on the Green, which disturbed the nearby church services and the crowds spilled into the road. Police blamed the owner at this time for allowing these crowds onto the green.In 1919, in return for a piece of land elsewhere in the parish, Henry Birbeck conveyed this land (which he regarded as a liability)to the parish council who still  hold the deeds. It has been used by the public for many years by virtue of a lease to the P.& H. commisioners and the B.A. but this expired earlier this year.

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All this will be available then with a FOI request to the council should anyone wish to see it. From what I have read Roy Kemps book only covered about half the staiths in the broads area and surely not a legal document. I'm sure someone will look a little closer at this. Interesting to read that the staith was available for public use until recently when attempts to gain access have been denied for the past few years or has this changed recently:angel:

Colin

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Islander The moorings were available to toll payers by virtue of the lease to the B.A. The B.A. did not want to continue the lease, because they said it was not used much, and so it has ended.The B.A. had rules about 24 hour mooring when they leased it but did not enforce it. If you park on a street for many years you still do not gain title to the parking space. The Town Council offered a solution to Mr Wood of a space for mooring a pontoon for the dinghies but had no response. The boats moored are Mr Woods responsibility and the Town Council has no legal duties towards their occupants, except for the few who are there legally.The best way forward is for Mr Woods to make a proper planning application, but I think this is unlikely to happen.

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Sorry Martin, you did not make it clear you were talking about the moorings and not the staith and green. If the boats moored are Mr Woods responsibility then it will be him the council will be sending notices to. I don't think so. Apart from the bungalows occupants there are a lot more islanders on the electoral register who the council have made no attempt to contact. Should not the council make it clear whose responsibility the dinghies are and talk to them. There was a proposal,I believe, to charge us £50each per annum but the council decide it better to charge Mr Wood £1000 for the use of the green. I think the council will stand more chance with the boat owners. I would gladly pay it I they care to draw up the necessary 'license'. Secondly it would make more sense to provide dinghy mooring at both ends of the green and  ENFORCE them. I can't speak for other islanders but a direct approach to the boat owners will probably get a better response than from Mr Woods.

I won't be able to attend the next council meeting due to personal commitments but I think there may be some more recent islanders attending as I'm sure you will be.

regards

Colin

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Thank you Islander. I will also be away on Monday. I usually do attend council meetings to find out what is happening in my area. It is a shame that often I am the only member of the public there. I am probably the only person to study the council minutes since 1895 to the present day and so am very familiar with the staithe. The council debated the idea of a pontoon for the dinghies and councillors did not set a fee, but suggestions were £500 and £1,000 subject to talks with Mr Wood. As we know this did not happen.I doubt whether a f.o.i. request will show much other than to show the title deeds to the River Green. The enclosure act of 1800 is at the NRO and I have many items on my computer relating to the staithe. I think it is beyond dispute that the Town Council have the right to charge for the staithe.

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It seems we will both have to wait and see if anything re: the moorings is brought up at the meeting. I bet we get different accounts! I must admit the public attendance is very low but I have been the only member of the public at BA, planning and navigation meetings in the past. Let's hope some future agreement can be made with the islanders.

Although not directly involved with Jenners end I am concerned for those who have to remove their boats and the security firms ability to handle the 'evictions' as they appear to be a very young firm and may lack the people skills. This is not a nightclub door or music festival. I believe they will have to serve a second notice, directly or by recorded delivery, before any removal of boats or their personal effects can be legally removed. I'm sure the island jungle drums will keep me informed.

I look forward to meeting you one day, I'm sure we won't agree on everything but good debate can bring forth positive changes. We both have one thing in common. We both like to enjoy River Green.

Colin

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Welcome to the forum Stationerystill!

Forgive me but I seem to have got lost somewhere. Am I right in thinking a Town Council is trying to charge money for use of land that has been used as both a Green and a Staithe since the 1900's? Commons Registration Act 1965, Commons Act 2006 and the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 are the main bits of legislation here. Whether the Green has been registered or not. If the River 'Green' has been used as a Green and Public Staithe for over twenty years, and is held in ownership by the council for the community, its common land and therefore a public staithe no matter what money changed hands with whom.

I'd hate to sit on a council defending or be a member of the public financing a challenge to that particular can of worms. Similar situation up here in Lincolnshire on the Trent, not pleasant at all!

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Tim, if you had been through the hassle we have had here in Canterbury, arguing that a playing field that has been in daily use for many decades is common land (when the local council wanted to sell it for development) . you would realise that it is never cut and dried - we have eventually got 2/3 of the playing field area designated as a common, but it took nearly 3 years of constant fighting.

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The public can use the Green free of charge, they can unload boats free of charge. The council is proposing to charge boats staying for more than 24 hours which is a different matter. It has not been used a a public staithe it has been leased to the B.A. for the benefit of their toll payers. If it had been a public staithe the B.A. would not have had to lease it.

 

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Welcome Malcolm to the friendly forum.

A debate I am sure will rumble on.  

I am led to believe the next council meeting will be better attended than most, I hope this gives people a good chance to talk, raise their concerns and find the solutions that are required, all in the correct place, face to face with the parties that are directly affected.  

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Thank you Mark. The best outcome would be a properly organised access to the island and for the owners to make a proper planning application. I have always found it best to talk to the planners, before even buying a property, to get them onside. Just doing things without permission is always going to be a disaster.

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Just to update everyone. Edp at its best, only a few small errors but otherwise correct.

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/council-decision-leaves-boat-owners-on-thorpe-island-at-risk-of-100-fine-every-time-they-visit-mainland-1-4977103

The new system is not yet in force yet but the old bylaws apply.

Colincheers

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Hello Martin, good to see you over here. We know each other from a closed forum, Jamie C & Co.

Some wise words, thank you for that, but there are also some points worth considering. It is a principle of English law in that it should be seen to be reasonable. We also have common law rights such as the right to navigate tidal waters, or being able to access the land.

In regard to planning, it has to be reasonable to assume that boats have moored at Thorpe for centuries and just as reasonable to assume that people lived on some of those boats. Such activities predate the Broads Authority and probably the Parish Council. People living aboard certainly predates the twelve year or whatever rule in relation to establishing unauthorised development.

It has to be reasonable that people residing on or beside the island have established a prescriptive right of access to the mainland. Why can the Parish Council not accept the reasonableness of such an argument and make reasonable provision for the Islanders? 

Thorpe on the Yare.JPG

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 Thorpe is a jewel in Norwich's crown and I fully understand the Parish Council's concern regarding liveaboards. No one would reasonably want to see a repeat of the eyesore boating community that developed further upstream towards the Hotel Nelson a few years ago. However, in my experience, if you treat the 'drop out' community with respect then they in turn will return the compliment. By and large liveaboards just want to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit. There are plenty of good folk living on boats, they are not the enemy. Not everyone can afford a house, nor would want one in many cases. 

Thorpe.JPG

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There is still a right of access. The council are not disputing that. What they are saying is there is not a right of permanently mooring on the Green, and there has never been. It may be that with a more responsible owner something could be worked out. The fact is the only planning application he made was in 2005 to renew quay heading  and live in the office, The living in the office part of the  application was withdrawn following objections from the environment agency with regard to flooding.

I wonder if he told the residents that he had permission because they seem to think he has. There are a small number who have gained the right to live there because the B.A. failed to take action in time. It is nice to have boats on the island, as it looked rather bare when it had none, but it must be done properly and permission obtained. The law is important or we could all turn up in a caravan and live where we liked.

 

 

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28 minutes ago, Stationerystill said:

The law is important or we could all turn up in a caravan and live where we liked.

That struck a chord Martin. Something has been 'irking me', for want of a phrase, since I read the EDP article and I couldn't put my finger on it. The whole issue seems to be tap dancing through and around the 1976 Race Relations and 1998 Human Rights Acts. Of course Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council all have policies regarding unauthorised encampment, be that tent, caravan or indeed boat.

Top of that policy is the requirement for an authority to 'make every effort to talk to the occupier as well as the owner of the land' quickly followed by a responsibility for health and welfare of the occupier. Can they access employment or medical assistance without hindrance? If not, this is a breach of human rights. Of course the government guidelines, issued in 2015, in situations such as this is 'toleration' unless it can be 'demonstrated that the occupier's actions have warranted the triggering of Section 61 of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.' 

If that is the case then the police can move them on to an 'appropriate site'. This of course means that one authority or another will be looking for a suitable site to accommodate a lot of 'liveaboards' as they have a legal duty to consider their needs and so that they can comply with the National Planning Policy Framework. Of course knowing these planners (I married one...what was I thinking?) a former 'brownfield' site in close proximity to transport infrastructure...like a railway bridge, backing onto an area designated as being one of the ten percent most deprived areas in England, considering it has a long history of accommodating boats, and an area segregated by water from the conurbation might sound pretty ideal. Who knows they could round up the rest of the unauthorised liveaboards from around the Broads and have them all in one place?  

If it was me...I'd be hot footing round to see the actual occupants, and sorting the whole thing out over a jovial pint or three, a bit quick like. Those planners give me the heebie-jeebies!

 

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Martin, I am not suggesting unregulated mooring on the Green, what I am suggesting is a reasonable acceptance by the Council of the needs of those living on the Island and therefor providing moorings for their dinghies. In society we have a need to park our cars and most councils, thankfully, make an effort to provide them and do so without unreasonable restrictions. For many people on the Broads, and the Islanders in particular, their dinghies are their cars. Effectively how many dinghies are we talking about, it can't be that many? If the Council is prepared to offer a thirty foot cruiser a mooring for a rent of whatever then why not provide a similar length of quay heading, about forty foot I suppose, for the same rate to the Islanders? Instead of mooring one 'acceptable' cruiser there there would be so many rowing boats, all sharing the rent of that one berth. I'm sorry, Martin, but to refuse to do so would smack of bloody minded discrimination and that is wholly unacceptable. 

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Assuming that a dinghy is reasonably light enough and the user is able bodied, if it is pulled out on to the bank, it's no longer 'moored' is it, even if chained to an immovable object ?

Just sayin.....

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Its been said before, its been asked for before, and the idea rejected but a small chain ferry is the best solution, but not only does this need the Town council and Roger to agree on it it then needs the Broads Authority planning permission and the city council permission (and rent) for use of the river bed.

I have found it all a bit of a mine field with logic that I struggle to fully understand,  as you all know we have been in talks to rent a stretch of the quay heading, this is now on hold as the BA now require a full planning application even though they were approached by the town council months ago and advised a change of use application would suffice,  being tidal waters there is a significant rise and fall with tide and for ease and safety I asked if we could use a pontoon parallel to the quay heading but this idea is thrown out due to the narrowing of the navigation channel, however if we do not get to have our dayboats there then a large broads cruiser linear moored would narrow the navigation channel more than our day boats on a 4' wide pontoon.  I can't quite get my head around it.

For what its worth I cannot see why we couldn't all talk and make provision for the day boats and a set number of dinghies and these two revenue sources could be a significant contribution to the £10k the council need per annum.  

I Feel there are to many different authorities all having their say but wanting different outcomes.

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11 minutes ago, Poppy said:

Assuming that a dinghy is reasonably light enough and the user is able bodied, if it is pulled out on to the bank, it's no longer 'moored' is it, even if chained to an immovable object ?

Just sayin.....

good luck pulling a dinghy out at low tide.

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