Richmond Council plans a crackdown on illegal boat moorings after launching an application to put a bylaw to restrict boats shoring up along the banks of the Thames.

Council members agreed to apply for the new bylaw so that will give it the power to prosecute people tying up vessels without permission.

By restricting prolonged periods of illegal mooring the river can be opened up to other boat users.

Councillor Virginia Morris, Richmond’s cabinet member for environment said she was delighted the council had taken action.

She said: “We consulted the public on the best way to tackle this and I believe the bylaw is the right way forward and, given time, will enable all boat users to rightfully enjoy the Thames.”

A bylaw was drafted following a public consultation where residents raised concern about illegally moored boats clogging up the riverbank. The council and police said they had regular nuisance and antisocial behaviour complaints related to the unauthorised boats creating litter, noise and intimidating other residents by having unleashed dogs.

If the secretary of state agrees it will become a criminal offence, prosecutable in magistrates’ court, to moor in restricted areas. A decision on whether the bylaw will be made enforceable is expected to be made in the next 12 months.

For details about moorings in Richmond, call 08456 122660.