PLA fees saga

Post date: Aug 06, 2012 10:38:42 PM

The long running saga of how the Port of London Authority (PLA) calculate charges for residential boats on the tidal Thames has finally been settled (see news item below).

Previously they sent estate agents round to marinas every few years. They were armed with 'houseboats for sale' prices and proceeded to demand huge increases (eg 300% and more) for what is after all simply a piece of paper to allow river works to be installed. The PLA do not provide the moorings, the river works themselves, or dredging, or other riverbed maintenance.

Often the estate agents settled at half the original demand. Some single boats settled for more while some marinas refused to settle at all (we at Thistleworth had a 126% demand and got it thrown out at arbitration).

Over a 20 year period the net result was a huge disparity along the river in what boats pay. After a 2 1/2 year process, initiated by OPLAC and Vince Cable MP, the PLA have finally settled on a proper formula - basically 25% of the market rate mooring charge, after 15% costs are allowed.

We suspect similar principles will be deployed against non residential moorings soon.