Save Independent Punting

Permission to land?

Given the number of references made to using Cambridge City council owned land only with 'express written permission' in the documents from the various meetings, an independent punt operator decided to find out what would happen if he wrote to the council and asked for 'express written permission.' Can you guess what they said?

25th February 2008

Dear Phil,

I am writing to enquire how I would request permission to use the Jesus Green river frontage for the commercial operation of punts. I understand that it is the city's intention to no longer permit the use of the green for this purpose "without express written permission", but am unsure as to which department would grant it. I thought that the property department would be a good place to start.

I would like permission for my colleague (Tim Campbell) and myself to use the green under the following restrictions:

  • It would be for the use of three single punts only.
  • It would only be until such a time as the La Mimosa punt station was made available to independent commercial operators.
  • If the boats were found to be restricting public access to the bank at the green then permission should be withdrawn.

In support of my request I would like to point out the following:

  • The green is currently used by the riverboat "Rosie" for loading and unloading passengers, presumably with the consent of the city.
  • A significant proportion of our business is generated via bookings from our website http://www.cambridgerivertour.co.uk and not from touting.
  • We are in full support of the initiative to license the La Mimosa punt station to independents and have been involved in dialogue with the city for several years. We only ask to continue on the green for a short while until the station becomes available.

If this is a matter for a different department please could you let me know which one.

Yours sincerely,
Jamie Collinson

12th March 2008

Dear Mr Collinson,

Thank you for your recent email, requesting permission to use Jesus Green for punting operations.

Both the City Council Moorings Policy and the Moorings Policy of the Conservators of the River Cam prohibit mooring on the Jesus Green river frontage.

The Executive Councillor can approve a scheme that would permit the mooring of a restricted number of permitted punts on the Jesus Green river frontage. However, this does not include the use of the area for commercial punt operations. No scheme has been approved at present, and any approval would have to be subject to the consent of the Conservators of the River Cam.

As mooring on Jesus Green river frontage is prohibited by the Council's moorings policy I am not able to grant permission for you to use Jesus Green for punting operations.

As you may be aware, Jesus Green has been used extensively in recent years without the consent of the Council and the Council has decided to bring this unauthorised use to an end.

The City Council considered in a series of meetings in January and February this year whether the unauthorised use should be allowed to continue but decided that it should not. It has authorised officers to take enforcement action should trespass at Jesus Green continue.

The City Council is pursuing its scheme to provide a facility at La Mimosa for punt hire operation, although it recognises that demand is likely to exceed availability.

Applications for authorisation to operate from the La Mimosa Landing Stage will shortly be sent out to all those who have expressed an interest in obtaining authorisations. If you have any questions about this, please contact property.services@cambridge.gov.uk.

Yours sincerely

Debbie Kaye
Head of Active Communities

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