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Marinas and Moorings

Expert advice for the development and operation of your moorings


  • Preliminary enquiries, scoping, assessment and viability

  • Regulations and due diligence

  • Support your planning application, making a well-argued case and engaging stake-holders

  • Help you assemble the team of professionals to construct and fit 

  • Marketing and pricing strategy, using thorough market analysis

  • Mooring contracts 

  • Comprehensive site maintenance and customer service plans, based on best practice

Inland marina development guide

Madge Bailey developed comprehensive guidance for the marina/boating/property trade on developing off-line moorings and marinas on the Canal and River Trust’s waters, compiling specialist advice from a diverse range of disciplines and devising a new application process to satisfy both developer’s and CRT’s needs. The web-based advice ranged from the feasibility stage through to construction and operation. The project led to the establishment of the New Marinas Unit, and several thousand new berths have since been facilitated.

Mooring fee and rent reviews

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We undertake a thorough market assessment of a broad range of moorings in the London region for our clients. This provides a robust basis for our advice on pricing both their leisure and residential moorings.  We have also helped to clarify the rights of the different parties involved at mooring sites and provided in-depth analysis and best practice for service charges.  Our clients include large Thames-based marinas, local authorities, trusts and individuals.

Mooring auction website, Canal and River Trust

Having reviewed the Trust's practices to set market rates for its moorings with the Head of Boating, it was decided that online auctioning of vacant berths would achieve clear market pricing and provide more relevant demand data. Madge Bailey project-managed the mooring auctions process from system specification, staff training, customer communications to ongoing operation. She analysed the resulting pricing and demand data which informed the Trust's pricing policy going forward.

Recommendations for the Port of London Authority’s River Works Licences for residential use

We undertook a comprehensive review of the Port of London Authority’s River Works Licences for residential use on the tidal Thames.  We worked with the Valuation Office Agency and a steering group comprising representatives of the PLA and houseboat community. During the two-year review, we researched the London residential mooring market, examined how other UK port and navigation authorities charge for works licences, sought an independent legal opinion on the Port of London Act and ran a public consultation with licensees and houseboat residents. Our report made recommendations for the licence charges, dispute resolution and phasing the implementation, including an impact analysis. The Port of London Authority adopted the recommendations and continues to use the charging methodology. Further information here.

Mooring business management, London canals

Madge Bailey transformed the London moorings portfolio of the Canal and River Trust into a commercial enterprise and grew the business significantly to 22 sites and 600 customers on sites ranging from canal-side linear moorings to large marinas. A programme of refurbishments, competitively tendered maintenance contracts and an operational staff restructure delivered new standards of customer service. A market-based mooring fee review enhanced income and enabled profitability analysis. Recognised as best practice within the Trust, Madge was asked to roll out national guidance on moorings management and ran seminars for 60 staff.

Marina feasibility for the Broads Authority

Our feasibility provided layout options, construction costs and estimated income for a potential marina set within a new development at a strategic location on the Broads. We reviewed relevant planning and navigation policies, assessed local market conditions and highlighted key operational issues to be included in negotiations.

Commercial review of Environment Agency moorings

Advisor at the inception meeting to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of mooring development options on the Environment Agency's waterways.  This included high-level technical and commercial viability of 10 schemes ranging from 200+ berth marinas  to smaller scale 10 berth linear mooring schemes.

Infrastructure review for large dock-based marina

This Thames-based marina’s infrastructure included serviced pontoons, facility buildings, footbridges, a boatyard, office and lock operating equipment.  We drew upon inspection information, site visits, staff interviews, current legislation and industry good practice. The report provided a detailed asset inspection regime, timescale and costs. It also highlighted outstanding inspections and estimated repair costs. This ensured our client complied with legislation and operated with ‘due diligence’. It also enabled them to assess their level of long-term liability against profits and plan more accurately for future repairs.

Planning enforcement appeal - Ladies Bridge, Wilcot

Madge Bailey was one of the Canal and River Trust’s expert witnesses at the planning inquiry, giving expert evidence on moorings.  The Trust won the appeal and was awarded costs in a landmark case for Britain’s canals which brought clarity to this important area of planning law. 

Pop-up marina, Southwark

We advised Sail Greenwich Ltd on their proposals for 350 temporary berths for sailing yachts coming from Europe for the 2012 Olympics.  Our work included the planning application, running a public information day, providing website content, drafting the management plan and risk assessment, whilst working closely with Southwark Council.

Packet Boat Marina, West London

Whilst business development manager at Canal and River Trust, London, Madge Bailey led the concept development and viability assessment of this 120 berth marina constructed on contaminated land.  Project management included partnership building, consultation, coordinating different disciplines to secure planning permission and grant funding. Once constructed, she established site management and operations. 

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