ENews 2015-03

March 14th 2015

Hello and welcome to an 'appealing' ENews 2015-03.

The headlines for this issue:

New builds proposed west of Stonehouse, 
Could lead to some funds for 1B.
But gravel removal at Meysey, 
May leave a bad taste as you'll see.   

Volunteers sought out at Weymoor, 
Rebuilding the bridge in this case. 
Phase 1A is still moving forward, 
Going along at a pace.    

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PLANNING AHEAD

The following is an extract from a message received from Chief Executive Ken Burgin:

"Last year we drew your attention to a planning application for the building of over 1300 houses west of Stonehouse.

"Many of you contacted Stroud District Council Planning to point out that such a large development so close to the canal ought to provide a substantial financial contribution towards the canal's restoration. As a result the proposal was not included in the draft Local Plan.

"However this development has been included in the new and revised Local Plan. This is open to consultation until 5pm on 25th March. We are asking as many of you as possible to write or email requesting that a substantial financial contribution towards the canal restoration project be explicitly added to the Local Plan in relation to this development. You can email local.plan@stroud.gov.uk or write to Local Plan Consultation, The Planning Strategy Team, Stroud District Council, Ebley Mill, Westward Road, Stroud, GL5 4UB.

"PLEASE NOTE that CCT is not supporting or opposing the principle of this housing development; it is simply seeking an appropriate contribution towards the canal restoration costs should the development go ahead."

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CHANGE OF PLAN

And there's more from the Chief Executive:

"As a result of a CCT campaign that started 25 years ago, Wiltshire Council imposed a planning condition in respect of gravel extraction at Roundhouse Farm, Marston Meysey. This stated that the T&S Canal would be reconstructed across the site once extraction was completed. Indeed the Trust recently reached agreement with Morton C Cullimore (Gravels) Ltd regarding the detailed specification of the canal and how it would be restored.

"Wiltshire Council's minerals planners have now advised Cullimores not to include the restoration of the canal when finishing off their site. As a result, we need your help to object to a planning application which effectively removes this condition in any meaningful sense – the one that should be securing the restored canal bed.

"We are asking you to contact Wiltshire Council objecting to planning application ref: 15/01978/WCM stating clearly that you want to see the full restoration of the canal bed across the whole of the Roundhouse Farm site as intended in Condition 39 of the original planning consent (Ref: N/10/00590/WCM).

You can enter comments by going to http://planning.wiltshire.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorer/ApplicationSearch.aspx and enter 15/01978/WCM. This should display the application which, once clicked upon, provides a means of looking at the planning documents and entering a comment on the upper right. Alternatively you can email Lucy.Harding@wiltshire.gov.uk (but please include your postal address and the 15/01978/WCM reference) or you can write to Minerals and Waste Development, Economic Development and Planning, Wiltshire Council, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN.

"There is a deadline of 9th April for submissions."

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WAY MORE TO DO AT WEYMOOR

John Maxted reports:

In 2014 the site of the collapsed and infilled accommodation bridge over the Thames & Severn Canal at Latton, close to its junction with the North Wilts canal, was cleared down to the remaining original brickwork following the laying of a diversionary track. 

Work is in progress to change the scaffolding being used to support the steels providing the forma on which the brick arch will be laid to ensure the scaffold is structurally compliant. We are also drawing up a schedule of bricklayers and navvies able to form work parties on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week, throughout 2015.  Our objective is to complete all the main bridge brickwork, lay the new roadway over the top and remove the diversionary track by the end of this year.

Building work will start in March when slightly warmer temperatures permit – and we are always on the lookout for more volunteers! If you have time available and would like to join us on this exciting project I would be delighted to hear from you.  We need bricklayers, navvies able to do the grunt work, engineering skills, digger and dumper drivers and enthusiastic ‘what-can-I do-to help’ volunteers. Another important role is that of Site Manager, someone taking day-to-day responsibility for the project.

If you would like to help us with this really important volunteer project, or would like additional information, please contact me by email maxtedj@aol.com or by calling 07756 974406.

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1A PROGRESSING

SDC Canal Project Manager Dave Marshall reports the following:

Lodgemore Bridge: Design work on the planned new lift bridge is well under way and planning consent has been received. One objection has been received to the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), which will inevitably delay construction of the new bridge. Despite this the tendering process has begun by seeking companies capable of, and interested in, fabricating and installing the new bridge.

Wallbridge: Stroud Town Council has generously donated £500 for a mural to be painted under Stroud Brewery Bridge, which has become a graffiti blackspot. The mural will be designed and painted by students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Wallbridge Lower Lock: All concrete work is complete. The contractors are now in the process of completing the fish pass – eel matting, access ladders to the resting pools, inlet/outlet grilles etc. (And a Travelodge for when the fish fancy an overnight stop? Ed). Some of the minor finishing work will be undertaken once Britannia Construction has finished restoring the lock. Restoration should commence in May.

Dudbridge: Repair work on the flood damaged bypass structure is now substantially complete. The work has entailed the replacement of displaced ‘Armorloc’ blocks with concrete. The opportunity has been taken to bed lumps of stone into the concrete in order to reduce the water velocity. At the request of the Environment Agency, the volunteers have also attached blocks to the fish pass channel in order to reduce the speed of water flow and therefore facilitating the passage of fish. Volunteers at Cotswold Canals Trust’s Western Depot will be modifying the culvert inlet grille to make it more resistant to driftwood blockage and easier to clear.

Cheapside: An engineering report from Land & Water indicates that it should be possible to dredge a 5m x 1.2m channel through here despite previous concerns that because of past landslips this may not be possible. Land & Water have been asked to provide a fully costed proposal based on this report.

Bowbridge Lock: Both sides of the lock are now scaffolded. Defective brickwork on the towpath side.has already been removed to water level and the recess for the lock ladder has been cut. Work is 50% complete in creating the ‘dog tooth’ effect which allows the new brickwork to be tied in. The concrete dam, bu
ilt in the 1970s to retain water above the lock, has been removed. A reinforced concrete upper cill has been installed by a visiting work party from the London Waterway Recovery Group. Meanwhile, other volunteers are cutting up and removing the remnants of the old lower lock gates. Other work parties are booked in every weekend (bar one) up to April, including a fortnight of continuous activity over the Easter holidays.

Ham Mill: Volunteers from Cotswold Canals Trust’s Western Depot continue to make excellent progress here. A fabric ‘portadam’ has been installed, which will keep water back from the lock. In turn, this will allow removal of the brick/concrete dam previously across the canal, and allow access to the paddle holes once silt has been removed.

Landing Stages: The landing stages project referred to in the last 2 issues of ENews is well advanced now under the guidance and leadership of CCT volunteer Alan Jones. The project has been got off the ground thanks to a £10,000 donation from a local benefactor and the stages themselves have been designed to accommodate canoes as well as the more usual canal traffic. Trial installations are being planned for the bridges at Stonehouse Ocean and at Ebley Mill.
If you would like to find out more about this project or would like to become involved, Alan can be contacted by email alan.gr.jones@gmail.com or phone 01453 752396 (evenings).

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FORTHCOMING EVENTS

For further information (including contact details) about any items marked by an asterisk, please go to www.cct.teamconnect.org.uk and the Message Boards that can be found on the Activities and Rosters page. To become a registered volunteer follow the Register Me Now link.

Mondays & Wednesdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Western Depot*
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, from 08:30: Ham Mill Lock restoration*
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 09:00: Maintenance activity at Eastern Depot*
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00: Volunteer sessions aimed at people new to volunteering; meet Bell House Wallbridge. CCT members also welcome.

MARCH
18th – Wildlife Walk around Tunnel House Inn, Coates 10:00 start. See goo.gl/2VC1R0
18th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30
21st/22nd – NWPG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
24th – CAG Meeting Brimscombe Port 19:30
28th/31st – WRG Canal Camp (to 4th April)

APRIL
1st – 4th – WRG Canal Camp (cont'd)
1st – Wildlife Walk around Saul Visitor Centre 10:00 start. See goo.gl/2VC1R0
4th – 11th – WRG Canal Camp (2)
7th – Noggin & Natter at the Alehouse, Stroud 19:30
11th/12th – KESCRG at Bowbridge Lock or with prior arrangement and agreement at Ham Mill Lock
15th – Wildlife Walk Bond's Mill Café to Eastington 10:00 start. See goo.gl/2VC1R0
15th – East End Meeting at Trout Inn Lechlade, 19:30
18th – Dursley Male Voice Choir concert at Wycliffe College, Stonehouse 19:30. Tickets £8 from CCT Office
26th – Work Party Summit Level*
28th – CAG Meeting at Down Ampney Village Hall 19:30

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If you have any item you consider newsworthy then please send me an email, although I would ask you to bear in mind that I always look for a connection with the Stroudwater, Thames and Severn or the CCT before considering any article for publication.

Any and all feedback – preferably good, but bad as well – is more than welcome.

PLEASE NOTE. We keep your email address on an electronic database for the sole purpose of contacting you in this way. We will never pass it on to any third party.

David Pagett
Editor, ENews
listmaster@cctmembers-newsletter.co.uk