Mead Lane Mooring Trial, Saltford

Following B&NES Cabinet meeting on 16th January 2020 the council has taken the decision to temporarily close Mead Lane mooring whilst a structural survey is undertaken to consider the suitability of this land for moorings following concerns raised by the local community relating to the extensive repairs/construction of the Mead Lane highway and river bank during 2005. 

The results of the structural survey will be presented to B&NES Cabinet, to enable Cabinet to make an informed decision on the long term use of this land.  Boaters are requested not to moor on Mead Lane until further notice; we aim to update this webpage to identify other river moorings between Hanham and Bath by spring 2020.

We will regularly update this webpage to give information on the structural survey and will also take forward a strategic assessment of availability of river moorings between Hanham and Bath. 

If you want to report unauthorised moorings on Mead Lane, please email: Council_Connect@BATHNES.GOV.UK with ‘Mead Lane mooring overstay’ in the subject line, the signage on the river bank will be update so there is no need to directly approach boaters. 

Link to Cabinet papers considered on 16th January 2020 Item 15. Mead Lane, Saltford moorings:

Cabinet Decision:

RESOLVED (unanimously) that the Cabinet agreed to:

2.1 Request from officers to undertake a structural survey of the river bank at Mead Lane and as part of the survey consider the suitability of this land for future moorings. This request is subject to approval of the revenue budget provision by Cabinet/Council in February 2020.

2.2 Request that officers report back to Cabinet once the results of the structural survey are known, to enable Cabinet to make an informed decision on the long term use of this land

2.3 Remove moorings at Mead Lane with effect from 21 days after the date of this decision. Any Council enforcement action to be subject to compliance with statutory duties.

2.4 Request that officers undertake further analysis of residential mooring arrangements along the river, to include arrangements for boaters
and their families.

Reasons for the decision:

The council undertook works to stabilise the river bank adjacent to Mead lane around 2004/5.  It appears that the stabilisation works resulted in the site becoming more attractive for residential moorings.  Over the subsequent years complaints from the local community about unregulated moorings increased and the council agreed to introduced a mooring trial (2016/17), with the aim of addressing these concerns.  The trial resulted in the provision of a mixture of 14 day and 48 hour residential moorings (there are more 14 days moorings).  Mooring posts and an information board were installed.  Revenue resources were not identified to coordinate the monitoring of the moorings, including overstays.  Where appropriate, complaints have been investigated on a case by case basis by individual services at the council.  There is a strong feeling in the community that the council should have allocated resources to enhance monitoring/compliance checks and for any follow up action. The council did explore with the Canal & Rivers Trust if they could manage these moorings but at the time this wasn’t supported due to lack of capacity and no commitment from the council to allocate resources.

Alternative options considered:

There are two options available to Cabinet at this time – to either make a decision without the benefit of an up to date survey or put in place an interim arrangement until the results of an up to date structural survey of the riverbank are known.  As this is such a specialist area of work it may take several months before the survey is completed and the report received.  River conditions need to be suitable for the undertaking of a survey.  During this interim period Cabinet could make a decision to remove all mooring facilities, leave the existing mooring arrangements in place, or reduce the number of moorings – retaining the 14 day facility. 

Consideration should be given to a number of matters including safety and suitability of the riverbank, the needs of boaters to access suitable moorings and the risks of legal challenge and associated costs. There is no evidence that the residential moorings are having/not having an impact upon the structural stability of the bank at this time. 

The Cabinet could decide to make a final decision on the future of the moorings/land at Mead Lane.  However, this would be without benefit of an up to date structural survey.  This information is considered necessary before any decision can be taken.

Last updated: 31 January 2020

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