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Volume 502: debated on Monday 7 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether his Department has issued any recent guidance on the development of marinas on canals; (303927)

(2) what recent discussions he has had with British Waterways on the development of marinas on canals.

DEFRA is not responsible for issuing guidance on the construction or location of marinas and there have not been any recent discussions with British Waterways on this issue. Developers of new marinas must comply with the relevant planning requirements. Planning controls are a matter for the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Marinas are however an essential facility to support the use of the waterways network and its significant contribution to the wider visitor economy. Offline marinas prevent congestion along our historic waterways and so free up the navigation for leisure and commercial use. This is particularly important in the light of substantial growth in boat numbers over the past 10 years.