Statement of the Regulatory Assessment

The application to amend the Coniston Water Byelaws are made by the Lake District National Park Authority under the provisions of section 13 of the Countryside Act 1968 and the Byelaws (Alternative Procedure) (England) Regulations 2016.

The Coniston Water Byelaws 2020 have been drafted to reflect a change in the relevant national body dealing with power boat speed record attempts and to allow vessels that are not attempting world records such as the Bluebird K7 to exceed the speed limit subject to the imposition of suitable conditions. The changes proposed should future proof the byelaws to prevent further amendments being required in the future and will bring exemptions process to the speed limit on Coniston Water in line with the process for determining exemptions on Windermere.

The byelaws are necessary to ensure the safety of persons using the lake; regulating the use of vessels on the lake, conserving amenity and preventing damage or nuisance.

Byelaws for navigation on Coniston have been in place for many years and have permitted any person undertaking an attempt on a British National and/or World Water Speed Record, officially approved by the Lake District National Park Authority and by and held under the rules and supervision of the Royal Yachting Association and the Union Internationale Motonautique to exceed the 10mph speed limit generally in force on the lake.  In 2010 these byelaws were amended to permit the Bluebird K7 to undertake a limited number of runs at a restricted speed.

The Authority has undertaken an informal consultation with the following organisations:
Blawith Parish Council, Bluebird Project, Brantwood, Coniston Parish Council, Colton Parish Council, Chill Swim, Coniston Boating Centre, Coniston & Crake Partnership, Coniston Records Week, Coniston Ferry Services, Coniston Sailing Club, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Tourism, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Canoe England, Environment Agency, Forestry England, Friends of the Lake District, Lake District Local Access Forum, Low Bank Ground OEC, National Trust (Gondola), National Trust, Natural England, Police, Project Lead Jet Hydroplane UK, Raymond Priestly Centre, The Rawdon Smith Trust, Royal Yacht Association, Satterthwaite Parish Council, South Cumbria Rivers Trust, South Lakeland District Council, Thurston OEC, Torver Parish Council, United Utilities and the Water Park Adventure Centre.

This consultation was held over a 6 week period, from 25 October until 11 December 2019. Of the 35 organisations contacted, 8 responses have been received.

In light of these comments we have made amendments to the proposed byelaws as follows:

  • We have amended byelaw 5 in light of the comments made by the Royal Yachting Association to make it clear that those exceeding the speed limit with the permission of the Authority are exempt from the requirements of byelaw 4 relating to the 10mph speed limit.
  • Having considered the RYA’s comments in respect of byelaw 7, which was included to make reference to the Authority’s evaluation criteria, we have removed this byelaw. However it should be noted that the Authority will consider the evaluation criteria set out in the consultation documentation as amended from time to time when determining exemption applications.

We have also taken the opportunity to amend the definition “vessel” contained within byelaw 3(b) to clarify this definition in light of changes in remote control technology and requests by members of the public to operate non-passenger-carrying, remote-controlled vessels in excess of the speed limit. This amendment will be subject to comment during the formal consultation process.

Comments made about the timing of events, the need for them to remain exceptional and additional environmental requirements that ought to be included have been noted and will be considered as part of the evaluation criteria when determining whether or not to grant an exemption.

The Authority is content that the Coniston Water Byelaws 2020 are reasonable.  We have carried out informal consultation and taken into consideration the views expressed. We believe that the Coniston Water Byelaws 2020 are the best solution for Coniston and do not conflict with any existing local Act, national legislation or common law and central government policy of which we are aware.