Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners (BHC) was formerly established by Act of Parliament in 1927 as a Trust Port. Other legislation followed and includes The Harbours Act 1964, Harbour Revision Orders and Bye laws, all of which are publicly available. BHC is a statutory body with a board of Trustees known as commissioners. Funding is exclusively from charges to harbour users.
The Chairman and the commissioners are appointed every four years. Commissioners currently are Jim Addison – Chairman, John Carr, Neil Munro, Andrew Scott, Fiona Brown, Duncan Nicholson and Nigel Taylor.
Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners have a general obligation to keep under formal and active consideration the overall safety of the Harbour and to apply all available statutory powers as appropriate to secure the safe use of the Harbour by all craft. This includes the maintenance of navigation marks and the use of byelaws and directions with regard to the use of the Harbour.
Within the defined harbour limits the Commissioners have been created by Statute to serve the public interest. The public interest is wider than that of harbour users and includes the local community and natural environment.
There is a public right to use the Harbour for the shipping and unshipping of goods and passengers, and there is also a public right of navigation upon payment of harbour dues and charges.
BHC runs the town hard as an agent of Brightlingsea Town Council. Charges are agreed by the council for each season which starts on 1st April each year. Boats may launch over the Town Hard on payment of a fee. Vessels may also lie on the Hard by arrangement with the Harbour Office.
In 2001 Colchester Harbour closed and Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners became responsible for the safety of navigation and Pilotage on the River Colne from the Inner Bench Head buoy to the entrance to Roman River between Wivenhoe and Rowhedge.
The Department Of Transport to whom Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners report issue guidance on governance in a document 'Guide to Good Governance for Trust Ports' which is downloadable from our 'Downloads' page.
Consultation with stakeholders takes place in many forms, at the Annual Public Meeting, at bi-annual Advisory Group meetings, at regular annual and ad hoc meetings with stakeholders, at many other informal meetings, discussions or correspondence and with formal surveys from time to time. Commissioners welcome all feedback.
By observing the mandatory speed limits shown in this leaflet and marked by yellow buoys on the water, not only will you be safer when you’re afloat, you will also be helping to conserve the wildlife and maintain the calm and peace for which these waters are renowned.
Harbour patrols and Marine police are active at peak times to inform vessel owners of speed limits.