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Posted 21 February 2018
by Simon Catterall

KP JR Management Company Ltd v London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

Boats on the River Thames

In a recent case, local residents challenged a local authority’s confirmation that the residential use of boats moored to a pontoon on the Thames by Kew Bridge Richmond was lawful. The site included a walkway, landing stage and mooring pontoon, attached to piles driven into the riverbed. The Council initially refused to take enforcement action against the residential use deciding that it was immune from enforcement action, having continued uninterrupted for 10 years. Subsequently, it granted a certificate of lawfulness for the use of (1) four boats permanently occupied and two boats intermittently occupied for residential purposes. Both decisions were challenged. The judge in the case confirmed the use of moorings for residential use potentially required planning permission. Crucially the judge decided that the Council was entitled to look at the mooring and pontoon area as a whole in deciding what the use was, not each individual mooring. That meant that a change of use of any individual mooring was not necessarily fatal to establishing a residential use over the whole site. It enabled the Council to lawfully conclude on the evidence that overall there was a lawful residential use for four boats permanently and two boats intermittently, and the local residents’ challenge failed.

R (on the application of KP JR Management Company Ltd) v London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames [2018] EWHC 84 (Admin)  Queen’s Bench Division (Planning Court)  Lang J  24 January 2018

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About the author

Simon Catterall


Solicitor for the planning team