Business plan sunk by lack of license

A LYME Regis man may have foiled his attempts to gain a licence for a commercial mooring at the resort s harbour because of a police caution.

A LYME Regis man may have foiled his attempts to gain a licence for a commercial mooring at the resort's harbour because of a police caution.

Nick Gear, who has been fighting to get a licence for three years to run pleasure trips, recently assaulted a member of West District Dorset Council staff.

A spokesman for the council said Mr Gear's behaviour had become "unacceptable".

He said: "He has exhausted the council's complaints procedure and he has been abusive and aggressive towards harbour staff.

"Mr Gear's conduct will, of course, be taken into account when considering whether he is a fit and proper person to be operating a boat offering visitors trips from the council's harbours."

But Mr Gear claims he has lost thousands of pounds in revenue since he bought the mooring in 2006 and has been left frustrated by the ordeal.

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The self-employed builder said he sold his fast food kiosk in 2007 to concentrate on the boat business - on the belief he was entitled to a license when he bought the mooring.

He already has a ply for hire licence for West Bay, but currently does not own a boat.

Mr Gear said of WDDC's response: "Its trial and judgement. It's true what they say, but they haven't answered my questions.

"I feel angry. I thought it was a good business to pursue and feel badly let down.

"But I will proceed with this case. Hopefully, with liaison, I trust this dispute can be sorted."

A WDDC spokesman added that it only allows 14 'ply for hire' licenses in Lyme Regis at any one time in order to maintain the financial viability of the established businesses.

Mr Gear is on the waiting list for a license and will be advised as soon as one becomes available.

He said he understood Mr Gear had never used his ply for hire at West Bay.

He said: "We would encourage Mr Gear to commence operations in West Bay so that when a licence becomes available in Lyme Regis he would be in a good position to operate from both harbours.