A tour boat operator who says he was kept out of business by prolonged Environment Agency work on the River Wye has failed in his bid for extra compensation – and will now have to fork out towards the agency’s legal bill.

Hereford’s Dennis Parkhill took tourists on his riverboat, the Wye Queen, from 1997 until 2002 but stopped trading ahead of the agency’s planned improvement works to the river's flood defences.

He says he always intended to return to the river when the work finished, but was left counting the cost of delays in returning St Stephen’s Wharf to a workable state.

Despite finding the alterationworks did drag on longer than intended, a tribunal judge has rejected Mr Parkhill’s claims he is entitled to any more than the £10,000 compensation he was paid at the time.

Judge David Mole QC ordered that he pay £6,000 towards the Environment Agency’s legal costs.