St Mary’s Harbour Raised In New Duchy Legal Case

minerva cruise ship and harbourThe Duchy of Cornwall is in court this week to fight a ruling that could see it being opened up to more public scrutiny.

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.



4 Responses to St Mary’s Harbour Raised In New Duchy Legal Case

  1. Cynic January 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Does the sudden increase in the cruise ship harbour and pilotage fees coming to the Duchy aid the plan to offload their only public enterprise ?

  2. Alan Davis January 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Taxpayers will be pleased that the majority of the POW’s legal costs, enabling him to prevent scrutiny of his dealings and privileges, are being met by the Treasury. This is in contrast to Legal Aid for ordinary citizens being withdrawn/reduced!

    The POW has used his privileged position to exempt himself from the Leasehold Reform Acts (this includes a number of areas and parts of Scilly) for his financial benefit under the guise of protecting the environment. Even the Monarch has not invoked such a privilege with the politicians.

    The Windsor dynasty receives a great deal of money from the State to support their lifestyles. They have now discovered a new way of funding the extended family by charging charities for a street party. It is questionable as to how long the Windsor dynasty can survive in an open and transparent society.

  3. Morris January 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    How long it will take KIER to raise the whole thing will they keep the seabed at the same level? Goodness knows but surely they must soon be eligible for Quay Worker Status? No probs the junta will nod it through.

  4. Jeff Eastick January 22, 2016 at 12:40 am

    Confirmation of earlier posts as to reason behind Duchy plan to relinquish their control of the harbour.