The NABO Council has become increasingly aware of a number of key visitors moorings being withdrawn (often without any consultation with users) and made available for other purposes, typically of a commercial nature.
In this light, we have been alerted to a planning permission application on the K&A to change of use a visitor mooring to a permanent trade mooring near to the middle of Bradford on Avon in Wiltshire. We have officially expressed our opposition to this application.
Although NABO supports the increased use of our waterways for appropriate commercial activities, we strongly object to this proposed change of use. The loss of a visitor mooring at Bradford-on-Avon will further exacerbate the already acute shortage of visitor moorings in the area, thereby denying mooring space to both private boaters and holiday makers on the significantly large number of hire boats that operate on the K&A. Bradford-on-Avon is an extremely popular "honey-pot site" on the waterway, and is successful in attracting a large number of visitors – and is thus a major source of revenue for this historically important town.
We are also fully aware of the work being done by CRT and its K&A Waterways Partnership to increase, and indeed ensure, the availability of visitor moorings over the entire western end of the waterways. It is clear that the loss of this mooring would be in direct conflict with those efforts, which have the support of Wiltshire Council.
From a safety point of view, we are also concerned that the proposed mooring site is close to Bradford-on-Avon Lock. This is one of the most frequently used locks on this waterway and there are often long queues of boats waiting to enter it. Locating the new business in close proximity to the lock would considerably aggravate the problem of finding temporary mooring spaces for boats waiting to use it.
For all these reasons, we strongly suggest that this is not an appropriate position for a permanent trade mooring.
If you are aware of other visitor moorings being re-allocated, please let us know and we will take up the matter with the appropriate responsible body.