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Tuesday 13 November 2012


Navigation on unregulated watercourses

The Petition of Douglas Malpus, Southport,

Declares that the 1472 Act for Wears and Fishgarths affirms that between the statue of Magna Carta and 1472 there was a public right of navigation (PRN) on all rivers; further that the Petitioner believes, except where this has been modified by navigation acts, this remains the last time Parliament expressed its will on navigation on unregulated watercourses and the current legislation Rowland v EA states that a PRN may only be extinguished

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by legislation or the exercise of statutory powers; further that the Petitioner believes the statement in general, “there is no public right of navigation on non-tidal waters”, found in text books and commentaries is not the law but restatements of inaccurate comments about the law; further that the case law often presented as authority Bourke v Davis was rejected by the House of Lords in 1990 and therefore that the Petitioner believes there is no legal basis for the position currently held by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to adopt a policy for navigation on unregulated watercourses which is consistent with current legislation or explain by what authority the Department holds a contrary policy.

And the Petitioners remain, etc. [Presented by John Pugh.]