Falmouth Harbour’s proposed Harbour Revision Order (HRO) – Statement on Moorings

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General News

October 4th

There is some local speculation about Falmouth Harbour’s new proposed Harbour Revision Order (HRO), currently out for consultation, specifically how this may affect mooring holders.

Miles Carden, Falmouth Harbour CEO, says, “Our new HRO is about making our harbour safer for water users. Our amazing harbour is getting busier by the year and more diverse and we have to have the correct tools in place so we can manage and keep safe everything from large commercial ships right down to open water swimmers and also our marine wildlife.

“We have to have a strong legal basis for the management of our harbour for all our stakeholders and the new HRO will allow us to make the harbour safer and be progressive at the same time.

“In this we have a challenging task as we are seeking to bring together and update 8 different pre-existing local orders and several byelaws – as well as seeking to learn from best practice from other UK harbours. Our absolute aim from the new HRO is to consolidate and modernise existing powers – not to introduce new powers.”

The main new provision being consulted upon is the power to make General Directions (GD). Falmouth Harbour currently has the power to make Harbour Directions which are narrower in scope than General Directions. The new powers of GD have strong local consultation requirements and such powers are strongly recommended for harbours to support them in safe harbour management within the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC).

Some boat mooring holders within Falmouth Harbour have speculated that the new HRO may affect their future occupation of a swinging mooring.

Miles says, “Can I reassure mooring holders that the HRO should not affect existing mooring holders in any way, but the fundus owners will require a licence from us (this is not a new requirement). “There is no intention to change the existing status quo and the licence is purely a mechanism to ensure the fundus owners laying these moorings do so in a safe way so that we can continue to provide safety of navigation in harbour waters.”

There are 3 principal operators of moorings in Falmouth Harbour (this excludes St Just Creek that is under a lease agreement with Pascoe’s Boatyard at St Just): Falmouth Harbour, the Trefusis Estate and the Greenbank. There are also a very small number of private outhauls and moorings aside from these. These are mostly on established licences.

As mentioned, there is a provision in the new proposed HRO in relation to a licence required to lay moorings, but this provision is not new: a requirement to have a licence to lay moorings in the harbour is contained within Falmouth Harbour’s Byelaws – please refer to Byelaw 50

Licensing of activity such as moorings is critical to maintain navigation channels and safety.

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