As the summer comes to an end, I thought it was worth providing a small update on the progress of the Moorings Project, although the ongoing legal processes mean that a limited amount can be said.
What can be said is that, legal process aside, we are ready to go out to tender to repair the wall and build the moorings. Various permissions have been sought which will enable us to undertake the necessary repairs to the river wall and we have entered into a formal agreement with Wandsworth Council as our design and build consultant. We are in the process of finalising our agreements with the non-trespassing barge owners, after which we will be able to be confident that they will play their part along with us and they will be confident of a long-term future at St Mary’s Moorings. This will also enable us to enter into formal conversation with other people who would wish to take the empty moorings that become available. The PCC is also giving serious thought to the ongoing management of the moorings after they have been completed. A clear plan has emerged and is now being considered. The funds to build the moorings are in place.
In early May our interim injunction came into force against the trespassing vessel and its occupants. In August the court awarded costs accrued so far to St Mary’s. Regrettably it would appear that it will be necessary to pursue the matter to a full hearing, despite the clear interim ruling of the court, and so we are making preparations to do so. We have been informed that a final hearing is likely to take place early in 2018.
It is important to recognise that the outcome of this hearing will not affect the presence of the trespassing vessel in its current place but only the ability of the owners to gain access and services across PCC property. The removal of any vessel from the river is a matter for the Port of London Authority who are rightly following correct procedures in accordance with the law, while keeping us appropriately informed of the approach they are taking to this matter. We can’t be clear just yet about how long this will all take but we feel that, at last, the complexity of the situation is becoming much less tangled and we are feeling very encouraged about seeing the right conclusion reached before very long.