In this edition
Annette Greenslade Area action plan
Next phase shortlisted Progress reports
First planning applicaton Discovering the canal
Business working group
We were shocked and saddened at the death of Annette whilst cutting grass at Newtown Lock. Though the
cause is not yet known, most of the Cotswold Canals Trust’s volunteer work (including boat trips) has been
suspended pending a report by the Health & Safety Executive. This tragedy does highlight the excellent and
frequently unsung work being carried out by several hundred volunteers on all aspects of Canal restoration.
Often, these volunteers show incredible commitment – Annette and her husband Dudley had moved from Devon
to be nearer the Cotswold Canals.
NEXT PHASE SHORTLISTED!
The application to the Big Lottery’s Living Landmark Fund for £15.95 million to restore the Stonehouse – Saul
section of the Canals has reached the final shortlist! From nearly 1,000 original applications, just 23 are now left
in the running. Shortlisting involves the award of a development grant of up to £250,000, allowing a full project
bid to be drawn up. A detailed Next Stage Plan must be completed by 29 September, with final applications due
by 31 May 2007. The winning projects will be announced in August 2007.
The importance of this application is that it will connect the Stonehouse – Brimscombe section to the national
canal network and thus dramatically illustrate the potential of reconnecting the Rivers Severn and Thames.
FIRST PLANNING APPLICATION
The first planning application for Canal restoration has now been submitted by British Waterways to Stroud
District Council. This is for a new bridge at Oilmills, Ebley and excavation of the Canal from there to Ryeford.
The proposed bridge is a steel lattice design appropriate to the Canal and includes provision of “bat bricks” –
holed bricks allowing access for bats. Consultation on heritage, planning and conservation issues is a major part
of the Canal Project. The bridge design was no exception, being agreed by the newly convened Heritage
Consultative Group, a panel of local architects and heritage experts. Site preparation work is due to start in
October followed by the actual work in December. Stroud Disabled Access Forum also made comments on the
designs with good suggestions for improvements to aid access for all.
BUSINESS WORKING GROUP
Again part of the consultation process, the Cotswold Canals Business Working Group was set up in April to
assist the employment area along the canal corridor. The group is attended by Gloucestershire First, Business
Link, Federation of Small Businesses, British Waterways and Stroud District Council. As restoration work begins,
there will inevitably be disruption to businesses and a small number may need to relocate. The Group will offer
appropriate support and advice during this process. There is also the potential to improve sites for businesses if
their needs are known. All businesses in the Canal corridor between Brimscombe and Stonehouse are therefore
being visited. Since communication and information are essential aspects of business support, a newsletter will
be drawn up alongside a web-based Question and Answer feature to keep the business community up to date.
Cotswold Canals Partnership News is a quarterly newsletter which keeps you up to date with progress on
regeneration of the link between the Rivers Thames and Severn. The Cotswold Canals Partnership is committed
to the conservation-led regeneration the Cotswold Canals as a corridor for leisure and recreation, creating new
opportunities for local businesses, sustaining local communities and improving the environment. This newsletter
is circulated via email to County Councillors, District Councillors, Town/Parish Councils within five miles of the
Canal and stakeholder organisations and groups. If you know of anyone else who would like to receive an email
copy, please let us know: email@example.com
PROGRESS – Lechlade to Sapperton
Clearance work by volunteers at Ruck’s Bridge, near Eysey, has been making good progress. Work has
been helped by the landowners – CWS – and Cotswold Canals Trust’s acquisition of a stump grinder
Well worth a visit is Latton Basin, situated on the North Wilts Canal near its link to the Cotswold Canals.
The Basin has been tidied up and interpretive signs installed in a partnership project between the
Cotswold Canals Trust and North Wilts District Council. Thanks to volunteer work on towpaths, this
locality is now very popular for joggers and walkers.
PROGRESS – Sapperton to Saul
Walk Bridge, the first on the Cotswold Canals after Saul Junction, has been found to have concrete
cancer. Rebuilding work will be undertaken by Gloucestershire County Council
AREA ACTION PLAN LATEST
The Cotswold Canals Area Action Plan, being drawn up by Stroud District Council, will set out how changes in
the canal corridor resulting from restoration will be managed. As an initial consultation, members of the public
and interested stakeholders were asked to select the five most important goals of canal restoration and wider
regeneration. The results - wildlife (59%), sustainable (35%), tourism (34%), tranquillity (33%), attractive (32%)
and preservation (32%) - will help in formulating a 'Vision', ultimately informing the Area Action Plan. Over 130
respondents also indicated what they regard as the project’s main threats and opportunities:-
1. boats and canal traffic 1. Modern architecture
2. Family attraction 2. Access and car parking
3. Towpath cycling 3. Canal side housing development
4. Public houses 4. Canal bridges and infrastructure design
5. Tranquil picnic spot 5. Towpath dog walking
Community engagement is a key part of both the Canals Project and the new Planning system. Anyone
interested in the Canals Project can register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; phoning (01453)
754326, or texting 'canals' plus a postal or email address to 07851 729229. Alternatively, go to 'Have your say'
on the Council's website – www.stroud.gov.uk
DISCOVERING THE CANALS PROJECT
This is being led by Cotswolds Canals Trust with funding from the Local Heritage Initiative and Stroud District
Council. Community representatives involved with the project include the county Youth Service, Stroud Civic
Society, Cainscross Parish Council, the Museum in the Park and the Company of Proprietors. These groups will
establish significant topics along the canal between Stroud and Stonehouse, and how and where to best
interpret them. Two local businesses have already shown interest in sponsoring an extension to this project.
Designing the canal’s route under the railway viaduct at Capel Mill to the south of Stroud Town Centre to join the
canal that was destroyed by the building of Dr. Newton’s Way is starting. The subject of some recent press
interest, it has been assumed that the plans in the Project Atlas are those being implemented. In fact, they are
just potential solutions. Following meetings with stakeholder groups, artists impressions have been put together
of what the Canal could look like. These are on view at the Museum in the Park until 28 August. Consultation
events with local people and stakeholders will be taking place throughout September and October.
SAUL CANAL FESTIVAL
This year’s event was again a major success, with a large, but not yet finalised, amount of money being raised
by the Cotswold Canals Trust for restoration. Overall attendance was slightly down, due partly to the heat and
mainly the World Cup! Thanks are due to the 200 volunteers without whom this major event could not take place.
Cotswold Canals Partnership
Regeneration of the Cotswold Canals is led by the Cotswold Canals Partnership, consisting of the following:-
British Waterways (01452 318000) North Wiltshire District Council (01249 706111)
Cotswold Canals Trust (01285 643440) SW Regional Development Agency (0117 933 0200)
Cotswold District Council (01285 623000) South West Tourism
Cotswold Water Park Society (01285 861459) Stroud District Council (01453 766321)
Environment Agency (08708 506506) Stroudwater Canal Company of Proprietors
Gloucestershire County Council (01452 425000) Swindon Borough Council (01793 463000)
Gloucestershire First (01242 864190) The Waterways Trust (0845 0700 710)
Inland Waterways Association (01923 711114) Wiltshire County Council (01225 713000)
Learning & Skills Council (0870 900 6800)
Cotswold Canals News Editor: David Marshall, Stroud District Council. Publisher: Cotswold Canals Partnership