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Session 2006 - 07
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Arrangement of Clauses (Contents)

Broads Authority


This Bill is promoted by the Broads Authority, the authority established by the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 ("the 1988 Act") with responsibility for the area known as the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, or the Broads.

By virtue of the 1988 Act it is the general duty of the Authority to manage the Broads for the purposes of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Broads, promoting opportunities for the understanding and the enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public and protecting the interests of navigation. The Bill confers further powers on the Authority in relation to the navigable waters and banks comprised in the Broads (referred to in the 1988 Act and in the Bill as "the navigation area") and makes other provisions. Certain of the powers of the Bill are exercisable in relation to waters connected to the navigation area and referred to in the Bill as "adjacent waters".



Clause 1 gives the short title for the intended Act.

Clause 2 contains definitions of terms used in the Bill. Clause 2(2) defines the expression "adjacent waters", and clause 2(3) provides that nothing in the intended Act shall have the effect of constituting the Authority as harbour or navigation authority for any adjacent waters.

Clause 3 provides for certain provisions of the Bill to come into operation on a day or days ("the appointed day") to be appointed by resolution of the Authority.



Clause 4 allows the Authority to give general directions in respect of vessels in, or proposing to enter, or leaving, the navigation area. General directions may be given to regulate the movement, mooring, equipment carried and information supplied in relation to vessels and for the safety of navigation, persons and property in the navigation area.

By clause 4(2) and (3), except in an emergency, the navigation committee of the Authority ("the navigation committee") and certain neighbouring harbour authorities must be consulted before a general direction is given, revoked or amended.

Clause 5 sets out the Authority's obligations to give notice of a general direction.

Clause 6 allows the navigation officer of the Authority ("the navigation officer") to give special directions to vessels for the purposes set out in the clause. These include requiring persons to comply with a general direction.

Clause 7 makes it an offence to fail to comply with a general direction or special direction.

Clause 8 provides for the enforcement of special directions if the direction is not complied with. The navigation officer may put persons on board the vessel to carry out the direction. If those persons are refused entry, the navigation officer may apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant to authorise entry. A person who boards an unoccupied vessel may break open the wheel house, cabin or other enclosed area so as to gain access to the controls, engine or other equipment to prevent grave and imminent danger to persons or property.

Clause 9 provides that the responsibilities of the master of a vessel are not diminished or affected by the giving of general or special directions.

Clause 10 enables the Authority to designate approved places for the loading and unloading of certain types of goods. Where a place has been designated under this provision for goods of any description the navigation officer may direct that goods of that description shall not be deposited or received elsewhere than at that place. Non-compliance with such a direction is an offence, and the Authority may remove goods deposited or received in contravention of a direction together with related equipment.

Clause 11 enables the Authority to make byelaws for the registration of vessels in the navigation area or on adjacent waters. Byelaws under this provision may also provide for the determination and recovery of tolls. Byelaws may also exempt prescribed classes of vessels from the requirement to register. The Authority may charge reasonable fees in respect of the administration expenses of dealing with the application.

Amongst other procedural arrangements clause 11 enables the Authority to require an applicant for the registration of a vessel to provide evidence that the vessel complies with construction and equipment standards imposed under clause 12, and with the requirement to maintain an insurance policy in accordance with clause 14. The Authority may refuse or cancel registration of a vessel which does not comply with standards or which is not duly insured.

Clause 12 enables the Authority to impose construction and equipment standards (referred to in the Bill as "standards") in relation to vessels in the navigation area or on adjacent waters. Standards are to be identified by a scheme published by the Authority or another person. Exemptions may be granted from the requirements of standards.

Clause 13 establishes the standards appeals panel to determine questions concerning standards and exemptions. The panel will be constituted and will operate in accordance with the provisions in Schedule 1.

Clause 14 requires owners of vessels within categories designated by the Authority to maintain an insurance policy complying with the relevant provisions of Schedule 2. Provision is made for the Authority to grant exemptions.

Clause 15 makes it an offence for the owner and in some cases the master of a vessel to fail to comply with the requirements as to standards and insurance policies.

Clause 16 allows an authorised officer to board and inspect any vessel in the navigation area or on adjacent waters to ascertain whether the vessel complies with requirements made under the intended Act or byelaws, to determine whether the Authority should exercise or perform its powers or duties and if so to exercise such powers or duties. An authorised officer who boards a vessel may carry out measurements and tests, and take samples. The master of a vessel subject to boarding and inspection is required to facilitate the exercise of these powers. Clause 16(3) applies provisions of the Water Resources Act 1991 under which an authorised officer who is refused entry may apply to a justice of the peace for a warrant to authorise entry.

Clauses 17 to 21 together make provisions as to unsafe and dangerous vessels in the navigation area and on adjacent waters.

Clause 17 sets out the circumstances in which a vessel is to be regarded as unsafe; these are cases where a vessel gives rise to danger to persons or property, or the risk of pollution.

By clause 18, an authorised officer may require the master of an unsafe vessel to remove the vessel and to carry out works or take action to remove any imminent danger or risk of pollution.

Clause 19 enables the Authority to relocate, move or store an unsafe vessel. The Authority may recover expenses incurred as a result of the exercise of the powers of clause 19. In seeking to exercise its powers in respect of unsafe vessels, the Authority must give notice to any such vessel's owner, except in cases of emergency. The Authority may obtain a court order authorising the sale of an unsafe vessel.

Where an unsafe vessel constitutes a grave and imminent danger to the safety of any person or property, clause 20 enables the Authority to destroy it without giving notice to the owner. It is an offence to obstruct an authorised officer exercising these powers.

Clause 21 provides that an authorised officer may require masters or owners of vessels to give their names and addresses, to provide other information and to produce documents and other items relating to vessels for inspection. Such a request need not be in writing and may be given in any manner considered by the authorised officer to be appropriate.

Clause 22 enables the Authority by notice to require owners and masters to supply information as to vessels and as to the identity of other persons believed by the Authority to be or to have been the owners or masters.

Clause 23 extends section 16 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 so as to enable the Authority by notice to require landowners and others to provide certain information in respect of vessels moored on or adjoining land comprised in or adjoining the navigation area or adjacent waters.

Clause 24 enables the Authority (subject to appropriate safeguards) to enter adjacent waters and land in the vicinity of the navigation area or adjacent waters for the purposes of certain provisions of the intended Act and of the 1988 Act.

Clause 25 requires any person who intends to operate a vessel as a rescue boat in the navigation area or on adjacent waters to obtain a licence from the Authority. Exceptions to this requirement are made in particular for the emergency services and a lifeboat service provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Clauses 26 to 33 enable the Authority to regulate water skiing and wake boarding in the navigation area.

Clause 27 allows the Authority by resolution to designate zones where water skiing and wake boarding are permitted. A resolution may specify conditions subject to which water skiing or wake boarding is permitted in the zone. Before passing a resolution designating a zone or amending or revoking an earlier resolution the Authority is required to consult the navigation committee and interested parties, to publish notices and to consider representations made in response to the notices.

Clause 28 provides for the issuing of permits authorising the holder and others to engage in water skiing or wake boarding in a zone.

Clause 29 provides for the giving of directions in respect of water skiing and wake boarding. Directions may be given in signs displayed by the Authority and by an authorised person.

Clause 30 makes it an offence to engage in water skiing or wake boarding outside a zone or in contravention of a permit or of a direction given under clause 29.

Clause 31 provides for the cancellation and amendment of permits.

Clause 32 provides for appeals to be heard by a committee of the Authority in cases where the Authority refuses to issue a permit, as to the conditions of a permit, and against the cancellation or amendment of a permit.

Clause 33 defines terms used in clauses 26 to 32.



Clause 34 provides a definition of the meaning of personal water craft for the purposes of the intended Act, the 1988 Act and any byelaw made by the Authority under the intended Act or the 1988 Act. This definition may be further amended by order of the Secretary of State made by statutory instrument under clause 34(2) and (3).

Clause 35 defines the term "vessel" for the purposes of certain byelaws made under the 1988 Act.

Clause 36 extends the Authority's navigation area so as to include Breydon Water and the Lower Bure (the boundaries of which are described in Schedule 3 and shown on the plan deposited with the Bill) which at present are within the area of jurisdiction of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority. The effect of the clause is to make the boundary of the navigation area in this locality the same as that which applies to the other functions of the Authority.

Clause 37 amends existing legislation relating to the waterway known as Haddiscoe Cut (also known as Haddiscoe New Cut). Under the 1988 Act Haddiscoe Cut forms part of the navigation area but is not subject to certain provisions of the Act, including those conferring rights of navigation on payment of tolls and conferring maintenance and other functions on the Authority. Clause 37 applies these provisions to the Cut, and makes other related provisions.

Clause 38 enables the Authority to enter into agreements with any other person in respect of the navigation area and adjacent waters to facilitate the administration of the Authority's statutory functions and to integrate such administration with any powers and controls exercised by the other person.

Clause 39 enables the Authority to provide, to certain public authorities and others, information held by the Authority for the purposes of specified provisions of the intended Act.

Clause 40 extends certain sections of the Water Resources Act 1991, together with regulations made under those sections, and enforcement powers conferred by the Environment Act 1995, so that they may be enforced within the Broads by the Authority as well as by the Environment Agency. These provisions as so extended enable the Authority to carry out or require the carrying out of anti-pollution works so as to prevent poisonous, noxious or polluting matter or solid waste from entering controlled waters (as defined in the Water Resources Act 1991) within the Broads.

Clause 41 gives powers to the Authority to remove vegetation overhanging or projecting over or into the waters of the navigation area. The exercise of these powers is subject to the procedural and other provisions of the Public Health Act 1936 referred to in Schedule 4.

Clause 42 transfers to the Authority the powers of local authorities under section 94 of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907 to license pleasure boats in the navigation area or on adjacent waters.

Clause 43 provides protection for Crown interests.

Clause 44 gives effect to the transitional provisions, amendments of the 1988 Act and repeals and revocations contained in Schedules 5, 6 and 7.

The amendments made to the 1988 Act are set out in Schedule 6.

Paragraph 1 amends section 1, which sets out the membership of the Authority, so as to require the Secretary of State, in making appointments to the Authority, to have regard to the need to balance the boating, conservation, farming and land owning and land based recreation interests.

Paragraph 2 amends section 4 of the Act to take account of the transfer of functions from the Environment Agency to Natural England.

Paragraph 3 makes an amendment to the description of the navigation area in section 8 consequential upon the transfer of Breydon Water and the Lower Bure by clause 36 of the Bill.

Paragraph 4 changes the functions of the navigation committee of the Authority as set out in section 9 of the Act.

Paragraph 5 makes various amendments to section 10, which lays down the general functions of the Authority and makes other provisions. In particular, a new subsection (2) is inserted in section 10 empowering the Authority to carry out works and do other things in relation to adjacent waters. The changes to section 10 also provide for the appointment of a single navigation officer in place of the Norwich navigation officer and the Broads navigation officer.

Paragraph 6 amends the licensing functions of section 11 so as to require the Authority to consult the navigation committee before determining an application for a works licence which would significantly affect the use or enjoyment of the navigation area.

Paragraph 7 amends the charging provisions of section 13 so as to empower the Authority to determine and recover tolls in respect of vessels on adjacent waters and to impose further requirements to consult the navigation committee.

Paragraph 8 amends the accounting and financial provisions of section 17. The Authority's duty to maintain a separate navigation account is abolished and replaced by a requirement to keep proper financial records. A new duty is imposed on the Authority requiring it to ensure that taking one financial year with another navigation expenditure is not less than navigation income (the expressions "navigation expenditure" and "navigation income" having the meanings given by section 17 of the Act as amended by paragraph 9).

Paragraph 9 inserts new definitions in the interpretation provisions of section 25.

Paragraph 10 removes paragraph 6(b) from Schedule 1 to the 1988 Act whereby the Authority is required to consult Natural England on the terms and conditions of employment of the chief officer of the Authority.

Paragraph 11 amends paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the Act so that the obligation to issue a code of practice for drainage work is changed to a discretionary power.

Paragraph 12 makes amendments to the provisions for the control of navigation in Schedule 5 to the Act. These include amendments giving the Authority wider powers to restrict the use of parts of the navigation area temporarily in order to facilitate the holding of recreational activites. The provisions for the removal of wrecks are applied in addition to unservicable vessels, and the powers to enforce these controls are extended. Certain provisions of Schedule 5 which are superseded by or inconsistent with the Bill are repealed.

Paragraph 13 extends to the Authority the powers of local authorities under section 74 of the Local Government Act 1972 (which enables local authorities to change their names).


Dr John Packman, Chief Executive of the Broads Authority, has made the following statement:

In my view the provisions of the Broads Authority Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

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Prepared 24 November 2006