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Marinas and moorings

Find out more about setting up new marinas and moorings.

Whiton Marina

Following a consultation at the end of 2017, and a further review, we have now ended the automatic online reduction policy, whereby we had previously removed one long-term online mooring for the creation of every ten off-line marina moorings.

Over the past ten years nearly 600 online permanent moorings have been removed as thousands of new offline moorings have been created.

The new policy does not support the creation of lots of new linear moorings, but in certain circumstances they may be appropriate if they meet strict criteria.

Moorings that have been removed to date will not be reinstated, and this will not affect existing marinas or those currently in development where online mooring reduction has already been agreed.

The Canal & River Trust is the owner of the canal bed and permission is needed for the exclusive right to occupy the waterspace as moorings.

The sub division of existing offside land to create multiple single linear moorings is not supported by this policy.

Canal & River Trust Online Moorings Policy

The Canal & River Trust's Online Moorings Policy sets out the strategic aims, principles and criteria for considering online mooring sites on the Canal & River Trust's network.

The policy is complemented by this Business Boating Online Mooring Process that sets out the criteria for moorings proposals for multiple leisure boats or boats to be used for commercial proposals (e.g. hire boats, cafes etc).

“Online moorings” means those on the main line of the navigation including those that are ‘towpath side' and ‘offside' (i.e. on the opposite side to the towpath) and does not include basins, laybys or other offline mooring.

Online moorings strategic aims:

  1. To effectively manage long-term online moorings along the network (towpath or offside).

  2. To effectively manage short-stay moorings fairly for all boaters.

  3. To ensure that short-stay moorings are located where needed to meet the needs of cruising boaters and holiday-makers.

  4. To support key destinations, other strategic plans and the Trust's vision.

  5. Work with the private sector and others to provide a wide choice of moorings to meet the needs of all waterway users.

  6. Ensure Canal & River Trust complies with competition law and the Trust's Competition Law Compliance Code of Practice.

  7. Long term online moorings principles

  8. Online towpath moorings will generally be retained for 14-day moorings, short stay visitor moorings and occasional temporary moorings such as winter moorings, mooring for boating events or gatherings.

  9. All proposals shall be considered against the criteria set out in this process and the Online Moorings Policy. This does not apply to the Kennet & Avon[1] which is subject to the provisions of its conservation plan or the Montgomery Canal which is subject to the Conservation Management Strategy[2]. Moorings in River Lee Valley Regional Park (LVRP) may be subject to LRVP planning policies.

[1] On the Kennet & Avon Canal we will not permit the creation of any further offside moorings against private property. This underlines our commitment to delivering the policies within the Kennet & Avon Canal Conservation Plan (second edition October 2000):

Policy H10: There will be a general presumption for the offside bank to remain non accessible.

Policy H10.2: There is a presumption against the creation of moorings, paths and access on the offside canal bank, although a case may be made for this in some urban locations. The term ‘urban' shall be deemed to mean the city of Bath and the towns of Bradford-on-Avon, Devizes, Hungerford, Newbury and Reading.

Making an application for online moorings

If you believe your proposal meets all of the the criteria within the Business Boating Online Moorings Process, you may proceed to making an application.

please note you will need to register or set up a new account to use this system.

If your proposal requires any physical works then you will be asked to complete an additional works proposal following our appraisal.

For the assessment of new mooring location there is a non-refundable fee of £90 inclusive of VAT (at standard rate) towards our administration and initial assessment costs. Payment will be requested as part of your online operating proposal application.

Making an application for offline moorings

If you wish to set up offline moorings in a marina, mooring basin or lay-by, please refer to our new marinas pages.

If you own a residential property and you wish to moor your own, private boat please go to our mooring pages. Please be advised that we can only consider one single leisure craft registered to the property owner.

If you wish to apply for the installation of a new slipway, canoe launches, dry docks or upgrades to existing facilities please refer to our Boatyards pages. As these works will require physical works then you have to complete an additional works proposal form.

Whether it is possible to operate a boating business from any of the Trust's Waterside Mooring site depends on the type of business it is. If it is possible, an uplift on the mooring agreement fee may be applicable. You will also require a suitable business licence.

Further details are available on our dedicated webpage.

If you're thinking of using your boat to run a business or commercial activity, or are hoping to secure a mooring to start a boating business or commercial activity, the information below will help you with your planning.

The application can run alongside your operating proposal submission.

Commercial / Business Use Application Form

Explanation of Commercial Use Table and Tariff

Last Edited: 02 November 2023

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