Proposed Port of London Harbour Revision Order – Initial Consultation

The RBOA urges any members who have an interest in moorings within the PLA to read the following document, received from your Area Representative for the Non-tidal Thames.  If you have views you would like to express to PLA, plase do this indivisually at this stage.  Responses must be made by 5th December, 2019. it would also be helpful if you could copy your comments to  so that your Officers and relevant Area Representative  witll know your thoughts on the matter. Thank you.


I attended an Open House session hosted by the Port of London Authority (PLA) on Thursday 14
November 2019 to enquire about the impact of the proposed Harbour Revision Order (HRO) on
residential boats and moorings on the tidal Thames.
The PLA was created by an Act of Parliament originally passed in 1908, which has been subject to
periodic review. The current Act is the Port of London Act 1968, which was last substantially
updated in 1992. Since then a number of one-off amendments have been made, but the PLA now
considers a more thorough overhaul is needed to ensure its statutory powers and duties are
appropriate to meet the requirements of an increasingly busy river in the 21st Century.
The PLA says the proposed HRO is intended to modernise the Act to reflect the operations and
technology in use on the river today. Also to reflect the PLA’s evolution as an organisation,
adopting open communications and greater transparency about its operations and decision
The formal process of securing a HRO is through an application to the Marine Management
Organisation. Before the PLA does that it is taking six weeks to seek early stakeholder input on the
changes that it is proposing to make. The PLA has made four documents available online:
• A simple guide to the HRO, setting out the principal changes proposed:
• The full copy of the draft HRO:
• Marked up copy of the Port of London Act 1968, showing amendments:
• Explanatory note – a detailed explanation of the amendments to the Port of London Act
1968 and other local legislation proposed in the draft Harbour Revision Order:
Points of concern
The following were discussed with John Ball, who spoke on behalf of the PLA.
• Impact on existing and applications for new river works licences (rwl’s) for residential moorings
• Calculation of consideration for residential rwl’s
• Grounds for revocation of rwl’s
• Impact on “ancient” moorings
• Rights of appeal against revocation and consideration
Impact on existing and applications for new river works licences for residential moorings
I was told existing Licences would continue exactly as they do presently. New licences, or “permits”
as they would be called, would be subject to two separate processes:
1) Merits of the proposal with regard to navigational safety, environmental impact etc; and
2) Terms and conditions for occupying the river bed.
The PLA is applying to subsume the responsibilities of the Marine Management Organisation in its
area in order to streamline the application process as far as the merits of applications for permits
are concerned. The process would involve consulting the public and other statutory bodies such as
the Environment Agency. A scale of charges for making applications would be published.
Once a permit is granted, terms and conditions for occupying the land owned or managed by the
PLA would be applied.
Calculation of consideration for residential rwl’s
The consideration would be based on the size of residential boats permitted to moor at the
installation, using the formula already in operation and published by the PLA.
Grounds for revocation of rwl’s
A river works licence could be revoked only if :
a) the river regime changed such that the works became a hazard or obstruction to navigation; or
b) the licence holder was in breach of the terms of the licence.
Impact on “ancient” moorings
I was told the HRO aims to clarify how the PLA can control “ancient” moorings in the interests of
navigational safety based on court rulings which have been made.
Rights of appeal against revocation and consideration
I understand rights of appeal would be the same as they presently are, namely, either:
a) to the Secretary of Sate in respect of revocation; or
b) to an independent arbitrator in respect of consideration.
The initial consultation period on the HRO ends on Thursday 5 December 2019. Anyone wishing
to make comments on the proposed HRO can send them to the PLA:
• by email:
• by post: HRO Admin, Port of London Authority, London River House, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 2BG.

Clive Wren November 2019
Tidal Thames Representative, RBOA