ENews No 11

Press release received from the Cotswold Canals Partnership:

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PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON CAPEL MILL UNDERWAY

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Public consultation on the route of the Thames & Severn Canal through Capel Mill is now underway. It is part of the Cotswold Canals Partnership's aim to restore the historic waterways of the Stroudwater
Navigation and the Thames & Severn Canal. Following a recent meeting between stakeholders and community groups, the first stage of public consultation at the site will take place 10am-4pm on
18-19 August 2006.

Members of the Cotswold Canals Partnership will be at Capel Mill (across Dr Newtons Way from Waitrose) to find out exactly what users of the site value about the area, and discuss specific features such as the large landfill site. As yet there are no firm plans for the route of the canal through the site, and the views expressed will be combined with previous visitor survey information to help identify a range of feasible and sustainable options.

Rebuilding the buried channel through Capel Mill is part of the Cotswold Canals Partnership's larger project to restore the historic waterways from Stonehouse to Saul. The project will create a vibrant waterway benefiting the natural and historic environment, local residents, businesses, boaters and will attract new visitors to the area, but will nevertheless prove challenging due to the original route being partially covered by Doctor Newtons Way (A419) and a large landfill within the site.

The stakeholder group is made up of around 15 different organisations including the Cotswold Canals Trust, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, Stroud Valleys Project, and British Waterways. Neighbouring residents and the general public will have a chance to view and comment on the options in forthcoming consultation events. This partnership of consulting groups combined with input from the community and users of the site will ensure that the restored canal is of maximum benefit to Stroud, its people and its environment.

Roger Hanbury, Chair of the Cotswold Canals Partnership, said: "This consultation process will involve and encompass all stakeholders. We want to make sure that the restoration of the canal provides maximum benefit for the community and environment of Stroud and we need to hear from as many people as possible.

'Restoring the Cotswold Canals' – An exhibition outlining the Cotswold Canals Partnership's suggested restoration plans will be on display until the 28 August at the Museum in the Park, Stroud. Drop in sessions where a member of the Partnership will be available to answer any questions or help with information requests are being held on Monday 14, Saturday 19 and Thursday 24 August, 10am – 4pm. Please call the Museum on 01453 763394 for opening times.