St Mary’s Harbour Raised In New Duchy Legal Case
And its management of facilities such as St Mary’s Harbour is being used as evidence that it’s a public body.
That’s the claim which has been put forward by retired businessman and environmental campaigner Michael Bruton, who has spent years trying to get information from the Duchy on how it manages oyster beds on the Helford River in Cornwall.
He believes it should be classed as a public body and be subject to Environmental Information laws.
In 2011, an Information Rights Tribunal ruled that the Duchy was no longer exempt from the regulations.
But the Duchy appealed and won a stay of proceedings, while the status of hybrid public and private bodies could be assessed in the European Court.
Their lawyers were in court again on Tuesday to appeal the original decision where the issue of St Mary’s Harbour was raised.
The Duchy’s lawyer, Thomas de la Mare QC, argued that the Duchy did not exercise any public functions and was simply a trust arrangement to generate income and hold capital for the heir to the throne.
And he said they didn’t provide any public services, with the exception of its role as Statutory Harbour Authority for St Mary’s Harbour, which was a very small part.
The Duchy announced plans to relinquish that status in August 2014 and last year submitted their proposals to establish a ‘trust port’ to the Marine Management Organisation.