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Thursday 13 December

Today's news from the web


Wednesday 12 December

A big news day

Three major waterway news stories have broken in a single day.

Last night, Oxford City Council's planning committee decided to refuse permission for a housing development at the Castlemill Boatyard

British Waterways' decision to sell the site for redevelopment, halting its previous use as a boatyard, aroused much local opposition. Following a dramatic eviction last May (pictured), the site had been boarded up pending plans by developers Spring Residential - which have now been refused. The campaigners are jubilant, but Spring have not yet commented.

Big names including author Philip Pullman joined the campaign, comparing the housing plans to "finding a bird's nest and throwing a brick into it". At the committee meeting, the complainants objected to the lack of a boatyard, the shortage of affordable housing, and the appearance of the planned buildings.

Meanwhile, in the House of Commons, MPs were discussing waterway funding in a debate secured by Lichfield MP (and narrowboater) Michael Fabricant. You can read the transcript here.

Waterway Minister Jonathan Shaw refused to agree with Mr Fabricant's description of previous Minister Barry Gardiner as "a nincompoop", and implied that DEFRA would continue as the department responsible for British Waterways; but on future grant, he said "I am hopeful that the budget for BW will be broadly around flat cash for a three-year period".

Flat cash is Government-speak for "no rise, even inflation", making this not the worst that could be achieved though by no means the best. The IWA has already responded, with Chairman John Fletcher saying "I was pleased that the minister was able to confirm that he did not expect alleged further cuts to Defra’s budget to have a deteriorative effect on  navigation authorities".

Finally, the much-awaited result was announced for the Big Lottery Fund's People's 50 Million contest (also known as Living Landmarks) - and the good news is that a waterway-related project is to scoop the cash.

Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, has won £50m for its Connect2 project. This comprises 79 schemes, including several new bridges over waterways and towpath improvements: a replacement for Riversdale Swingbridge on the Weaver, removing the first blockage on the Melton Mowbray Navigation, a new bridge at Diglis Lock in Worcester, towpath improvements on the Bridgewater, and several more. The decision was made by a TV-sponsored vote - and of the four projects competing, the Sustrans scheme won 42% of the vote.

The decision is a disappointment for the Black Country Urban Park, whose bid also promised great things for their local canals; and for the two other contenders, Sherwood Forest and the Eden Project. But there'll be some very happy faces in Northwich, Melton Mowbray, and elsewhere tonight!

Richard Fairhurst  | 3.11pm | add a comment


Today's news from the web

  • Campaigners Celebrate Lottery Handout thisischeshire.co.uk

    Residents in Northwich were celebrating an early Christmas present today after hearing that Riversdale Bridge (River Weaver) will be rebuilt. It has been out of action since 2001. The bridge project was part of the Sustrans Connect2 bid which won vote to decide who would win a £50million Big Lottery Fund handout. ...

  • Prediction - Connect2 'has won' Lottery Cash bikeradar.com

    The result of the Big Lottery Fund’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway is announced today but early indications are that Sustrans’ Connect2 scheme – the only national project out of the four contenders – has won. ...

  • Oxford plans rejected by council news.bbc.co.uk

    Controversial plans to build 50 luxury flats on an historic boatyard in Oxford have been rejected by councillors. Campaigners have opposed the redevelopment of the 160-year-old site at Castle Mill, in Jericho. ...

  • Dearne & Dove cleanup promised southyorkshiretimes.co.uk

    Campaigners planning to restore a dilapidated canal are hoping for a bright future following positive showdown talks with waterways bosses. ...

  • Applause As Boatyard Homes Plan Is Rejected oxfordmail.net

    Councillors won a standing ovation tonight when they threw out plans to build flats on the site of an historic Oxford boatyard. ...

  • Experts wade in to re-house 100,000 waterway fish waterscape.com

    Specialist teams are working to remove fish from 16 miles of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, enabling full inspections on the breached waterway to be completed. ...


Tuesday 11 December

Today's news from the web


Monday 10 December

Today's news from the web


Sunday 9 December

Today's news from the web

  • Protecting rare waterways plants waterscape.com

    British Waterways has agreed on a series of actions to promote the protection of the rare freshwater submerged plants, Grasswrack Pondweed and Floating Water Plantain. ...


Saturday 8 December

Today's news from the web

  • Boatyard Scheme Set To Be Refused oxfordtimes.net

    British Waterways' bitterly-opposed waterside development in the heart of Jericho looks set to be rejected. Council officers are recommending that the scheme is rejected when it goes before the central, south and west area committee on Tuesday. ...


Friday 7 December

Today's news from the web

  • Residents Get Dog Mess Bins thetelegraphandargus.co.uk

    Residents were celebrating yesterday in their campaign to get the Leeds-Liverpool Canal towpath cleaned up. ...


Thursday 6 December

Today's news from the web


Wednesday 5 December

Today's news from the web

  • Consultation on Conservation 24dash.com

    A plan to protect one of the most nationally important inland waterways in the village of Stoke Bruerne has been launched this week, and South Northamptonshire Council and British Waterways are asking for residents to give us their views on it. ...

  • First results of the British Waterways mooring tender trial waterscape.com

    One month after the launch of the new mooring tenders website and British Waterways have revealed the results of the first 42 vacancies to have been advertised....

  • Vote for wheel of fortune crusade newhamrecorder.co.uk

    Forget the X Factor, Tower Hamlets needs your vote for a massive walking and cycling network. The council said: "If we win, a new pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Regent's Canal in Mile End Park will be the hub of a network of priority routes for walkers and cyclists connecting Bethnal Green to Bow and the Olympic Park.''...

  • Old Toll House to go under the hammer northamptonchron.co.uk

    A grade two listed building in Long Buckby Wharf is going under the hammer next Tuesday. ...


Tuesday 4 December

Today's news from the web

  • That's more like it! thisisgloucestershire.co.uk

    An £80,000 cash injection has lifted the spirits of disappointed campaigners. Just weeks after waterways enthusiasts failed to win £19 million of lottery money to restore the Stroudwater Canal, the Big Lottery Fund has stepped in. ...

  • Waterways Trust advertises for Montgomery Canal restorer jobs.thirdsector.co.uk

    The advert runs: "Working closely with our partners British Waterways, you'll help us secure funding for restoration work. It's estimated we'll need around £13 million to restore the Montgomery Canal - and it'll be your task to find this capital."...


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