Kingston apologises to NBTA for smoke control blunder – order will not apply to boats

Kingston upon Thames Council has apologised to the NBTA after the wording of its Public Notices implied that its new Smoke Control Order would apply to moored boats, and many boaters took the trouble to object to the Order on the grounds that no consultation with boaters or with NBTA had been carried out.

David Kingstone, the Council’s Licensing and Environmental Compliance Team Leader said in a letter to the NBTA: “Whilst the Public Notices did make reference to vessels, this was entirely inadvertent, and it is not proposed that the new Smoke Control Order will apply to vessels at this stage”. He stated that The Council was aware of the requirements in the DEFRA Guidance relating to the making of an Order in relation to vessels. The NBTA made a formal objection to the Order, which was considered in full at the Council’s Place Committee on 20th June 2023. The report to the Place Committee by Matthew Hill, Assistant Director, Highways Transport and Regulatory Services stated:

“Once a new Smoke Control Order has been made, the Council may then consider whether to include its application to vessels and must then carry out a separate process of consultation and engagement as set out in the specific guidance … For the avoidance of doubt, this order if made shall not apply to vessels at this stage”.