Saturday, June 06, 2009

Who owns the Market Weighton Canal and what happens to the money paid by people to fish?

A while ago, at the request of residents and Newport Parish Council I attempted to establish the ownership of the Market Weighton canal, who was responsible for the banks, who owned the fishing rights, and what happened to the money paid by people to fish.

Ownership was transferred to the predecessors of The Environment Agency in 1951, and was, and continues to be limited to the bed of the canal, stretching from the disused Sodhouses Lock (near Wholsea Grange) in the north, to Weighton Lock as the canal joins the Humber in the south.

The Environment Agency does not own the banks of the canal apart from four small areas of land which were purchased by predecessor bodies, as follows:

1. Land around Weighton Lock

2. Land each side of the canal at Oxmadike Marr (to the north of the railway line)

3. Land at the junction of the canal and the River Foulness.

4. A small area of land in Newport, on the left bank of the canal just to the North of the B1230 (Main Road).

Until a few years ago, Hull and District Anglers Association paid rent to the Environment Agency and its predecessors. The Anglers Association requested fishing platforms to be built but the Environment Agency however were unsure of who owned the canal banks, and from this time on, the Association refused to pay rent to the Agency presumably because they assumed that if the Agency did not own the banks then they did not own the fishing rights, although this has not stopped the Anglers Association continuing to charge people for fishing. Even today I was able to buy a Temporary Membership Permit/ticket for £4 (see below) enabling me to fish for the day.

The Agency now take the view that, as owner of the bed of the canal, they are able to assert an exclusive right to the actual fishery, even if they cannot provide fishing platforms without the consent of the people who own the canal banks. They have assured me that they will look into the matter of regularising the situation with the Hull and District Anglers Association, and I hope the appropriate rents can be levied on them without delay, and these rents be backdated to reflect the fact the Hull and District Anglers Association has, and continue to charge for fishing.

It is worth noting that although the Agency’s ownership does not (for the most part) extend to the banks of the canal, their position as an authority which regulates ‘main rivers’ means that they have a considerable amount of control over what the owners of the banks and the adjoining land can actually do with their land, as they require the Agency’s permission/consent for most actions within the eight metre byelaw strip. But this is another story.......


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is an interesting subject. It begs the question as to the ownership of the banks up to the brick flood walls and raised banks/steel piled flood defences which were installed some years ago. Obviously (?) these defences must be subject to maintenance and have rights of access for this purpose.
The question of the blocked bridleway at Lorne Farm is also in need of resolution. This has been blocked for over twenty years despite being on the definitive map. Chasing the ERYC ROW department is staggeringly unproductive and I get the impression that those whose job it is to serve the neccessary enforcement orders to have the obstruction removed simply don't want to get involved.

Paul Robinson said...

The ownership of the banks is quite clear - the responsibility for maintenance is a different issue and one that needs clarifying.

I agree the blocked Lorne Farm Bridleway is a long-standing issue that needs to be addressed. I will chase this up over the coming weeks as this particular issue/story develops.

On a slightly different tack please note - I've got to be very careful what is posted on my blog (including comments from others) especially when being critical of specific departments of the ERYC. I’m ultimately responsible for everything that’s published if you get my meaning

Roy HUnt said...

I am not a legal expert but from what you have written, it seems to me that the fishing club may have been selling something that doesn't belong to them - namely the right to fish in the canal. Is this obtaining money by deception? I don't know, but if I had been purchasing fishing licences and then found out that the person selling them didn't have the rights to sell those licences I would have felt not only cheated but defrauded.

I believe that the right course of action is for you to refer this to the police for them to investigate and determine if there is a case to answer.

Roy Hunt

Roy Hunt said...

If I had been purchasing fishing licences and then discovered that the person seeling them didn't themselves have the fishing rights I would have felt defrauded.

I strongly recommend that you refeer this matter to the police so that they can investigatee this matter and determine if there is evidence whether or not an offence has been committed.

Kev Owen (aka Bluetracker) said...

You should be 'having words' with the Market Weighton Drainage Board.
They maintain a number of watercourses themselves in this area, if they don't know who owns what no-one will.

Anonymous said...

A related can of worms - the dilapidated tarmac road alongside the South of the M62 from Canal Side West to Thimblehall Lane. This remains shut by the Angling Club. I noted today that Newport Parish Council have placed signs on the motorway fence stating that the road is not to be obstructed but a gate is closed across it towards the Canal end and the gate bears a sign declaring the road to be private and no unauthorised vehicles permitted. It seems the angling club need a short sharp lesson in what is and is not permitted. Until last year the road was open and regularly used by all so the twenty years use by the public rule seems to have been satisfied!

Paul Robinson said...

The closed access road is at present being dealt with by the authorities, but with many things a quick decision is unlikely - But you are right to link both issues together. (Please see previous post on Saturday, July 28, 2007
'Access Denied to Newport Residents')

T.B.L. said...

Land was purchased within the canal act for the construction of the market weighton canal this was also within the enclosurs of wallingfen , holme on spalding moor and market weighton / the enviroment agency have only passive rights for the maintainance of the canal and not ownership /where a public footpath or right of way disapears through erosion or re-grading of a river or dyke bank it has no legal right to move sideways to account for this and thus becomes extinct this may or may not be helpful to you you

Paul Robinson said...

Thanks for that T.B.L.

The Environment Agency is quite categorical about their ownership of the bed of the canal and therefore the water and the fishing rights within that water... The banks are a different issue - which is certainly complex!!!.

Anonymous said...

The right of way alongside the Eastern Bank of the Canal past Lorne Farm is deteiled on several old OS maps. In fact if you look closely comparison of the various issues of the large scale OS map of the area show the present Lorne Farm house to have been built within the defined lane. Maybe the house ought to be knocked down and the highway cleared by the enforcing authority.

Harry said...

What's the position between New Farm and Landing Farm? No right of way is shown on the definitive map, but on Google Earth, there seem to be waymarks at the New Farm end.