Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Rare chance to buy traditional Thames launch used by river inspectors

ML Chet in service

A rare opportunity has arisen to purchase a traditional Thames launch as the Broads Authority retires it after 40 years’ service.

The river inspector’s patrol launch is one of the Authority’s last two distinctive Thames launches and has been taken out of service after patrolling the Broads all its life.

The Authority is now accepting sealed bids for Motor Launch Chet, which is 29ft long, has a 7ft beam and is fitted with a 38hp Nanni diesel engine. It is sold with a valid Boat Safety Certificate. The traditional wooden cabins are fitted with a gas hob, grill and a diesel heater.

It has undergone regular refits and its engine has been serviced every 250 hours so its condition for its age is extremely good.

Lorna Marsh, Head of Communications for the Broads Authority, said: “ML Chet has worked hard as a patrol boat for the Broads Authority every day for 40 years and it’s now time for it to retire from Authority service and enter the next phase of its life.

“It’s in fantastic condition and would suit a buyer for work or leisure purposes.”

Ranger Andy Ellson, who has operated the boat for the last year, said the boat might make a good collector purchase and is attractive because of its distinctive looks and interesting background.

Bids will be accepted until 12 noon on Wednesday 25 May 2016. Completed forms should be emailed to with the subject line SEALED BID FOR ML Chet.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Authority dismayed at continued distortion of facts by Save the Island campaign

Broads Authority officers have expressed dismay at the continuing misleading and deceitful methods used by the Save the Island Facebook campaign.

In the latest posting self-appointed campaign leader Gary Barnes has misinformed followers by claiming Head of Planning Cally Smith had been “forced to concede” that 43 “eviction notices” were issued in November 2015 in recent correspondence, higher than the campaign’s previously stated number of 41.

The correspondence, reproduced in full here, was in fact instigated by Ms Smith to demonstrate firstly that the paperwork comprised legally required letters before action, not eviction notices, and secondly that only a very small number of residential boats were affected, a fact corroborated by Mr Barnes in recorded meetings with the Broads Authority here. As is clearly evident from the correspondence the remainder related to items such as temporarily moored boats, dinghies and a jet ski.

Letters before action are a legal requirement before an application for an injunction. The Authority was obliged to apply for an injunction because the landowner has for years refused to seek the planning permission that two independent planning inspectors and two high court judges have ruled is required for his development of the land – including the moorings he rents out – in cases he brought to the planning inspectorate and courts himself.

The Authority has obtained an interim injunction while a date is set by the courts for a hearing for the permanent injunction.

The landowner Roger Wood has still not lodged a planning application. Additionally Mr Barnes has refused to apologise to Broads Authority Chairman Jacquie Burgess for smearing her by accusing her of using inappropriate language about the residents of Jenner’s Basin despite failing to produce any evidence of his accusation since he made it last December.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Success for annual open morning

The first Broads Authority annual open morning at Whitlingham attracted scores of people who enjoyed learning about the Broads and how the Authority looks after it.

Families tried pond-dipping, making badges and decorative dragonflies and those interested in the Broads Authority's work looked at stands devoted to practical maintenance, conservation and the new Pony Power scheme.

Members of the public also took the 'shortest guided walk in the world' through a graphic illustration of the Broads to learn about the impact of climate change.

Around a dozen people attended Chief Executive John Packman's first presentation. A second presentation was put on for the two members of the public who turned up to see it along with a few members of the Authority who had not seen the first.

Head of Communications Lorna Marsh said: "Whitlingham was a great place to hold the open morning with so many people coming along. There are a few things we will improve next year to ensure more people know about the presentations and to make the most of the good weather if we get it again."

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Broads Authority annual open morning now part of Outdoors Festival

The Broads Authority’s annual open morning takes place this Saturday, kicking off the 16-day Outdoors Festival.

For the first time this year the event is at Whitlingham Country Park, with fun activities outside and stands in the barn.

The café will be closed for normal service until 2pm but will be serving complimentary refreshments courtesy of Churchill Catering from 10am for those attending.

Chief Executive John Packman said: “You can bring the family along to try pond dipping, badge making, quizzes and other activities and chat to officers and members.

“Stands will include information on conservation, land management, our environment maintenance, planning, climate change, volunteers, education, tourism and of course our rangers.

“This is your chance to learn about what we do and how we look after the Broads and there will be two presentations upstairs in the Barn with an opportunity to ask questions afterwards.”

RSVPs are not required, just turn up on the day from 10am. The event will finish at 1.30pm and the café will be open as soon as possible afterwards.

The Outdoors Festival runs from 7 to 22 May featuring a range of activities and events across the Broads from canoe taster sessions to special mill openings and from guided rail and sail trips to museums at night. Check out the Broads Outdoors Festival website for all the details.