Claims that private moorings in Falmouth are being “nationalised” without prior warning or consultation have been denied by the new team responsible for managing them.

In an email to The Packet, a boat owner who did not want to be named said: “Hundreds of moorings are being 'nationalised' by the harbour that have been in private hands for generations. This is being done with no public consultation and no prior discussion with such a short time scale that the owners cannot fight back to retain their property.”

Current mooring holders have been sent a letter from Falmouth Haven, the newly set up leisure division of Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, advising them of hikes in charges and other changes to the existing regime.

“The essential difference is that the harbour forces boats out of the water for six months, quite the opposite of what they should be doing,” said the disgruntled harbour user.

“They should be a democratic institution run for the benefit of the town and facilitating use of the water (a hole filled with water, made by God) and not forcing boats out or into dual six month contract for a year when they had all year round use before.”

Barry Buist, general manager of Falmouth Haven, said he and his team are responsible for delivering a “comprehensive, safe, sustainable and profitable” portfolio of facilities and services to both the long and short-term leisure users.

He added: “The array of facilities we have to offer is diverse. In the case of the private mooring facilities these have historically been let by Falmouth Harbour Commissioners on an annual licence basis. As per the terms and conditions, there never has been the automatic right of renewal for this facility to our clients thus this|facility is neither a private possession nor utility.

“The demand for private moorings has been in decline for many years now and the time spent managing the private moorings in terms of administrating and overseeing the facility and the continual checking and monitoring of locations makes the current set-up unsustainable.

“With all of the above in mind, we have decided to withdraw the offering of this facility in the future, but in the immediate term, adjust the charges to take into consideration the resource involved.

“Recognising the existing custom of our clients, we have set up transitional arrangements and time to minimise the impact of these changes and encourage the use of our fully serviced moorings.”