Boats: Elmbridge

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 19 October 2023.

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Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab Conservative, Esher and Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an estimate of the potential cost to the public purse of the Environment Agency (a) relocating and (b) removing the 116 alleged unregistered vessels moored on Environment Agency-owned land in Elmbridge Borough on 30 July 2023 using powers under Article 16 of the Environment Agency (Inland Waterways) Order 2010.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

During the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021 there were significant periods of time during lockdown when the Environment Agency eased mooring restrictions and we were not enforcing. The Environment Agency was successful in an enforcement matter in 2019 for a boat owner overstaying on their moorings and had costs awarded for their costs of £20k Kingston boater fined for illegal moorings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The Environment Agency have been told there are allegedly 116 unregistered boats moored to their land in Elmbridge but cannot confirm the details of that data. The matter of the use of Article16 of the Inland Waterways Order 2010 has been subject to public consultation on its use. Until the consultation has been reviewed and a response has been published the Environment Agency has not concluded on how the use of Article 16 will be enforced across the country.

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