Canal extension on track after Melksham meeting

Richard Wiltshire of the Town Trust and deputy mayor Terri Walsh with plans for the Wilts & Berks canal at Melksham

Richard Wiltshire of the Town Trust and deputy mayor Terri Walsh with plans for the Wilts & Berks canal at Melksham

First published in Melksham by

Proposals to extend the Wilts & Berks canal through Melksham have moved one step closer, following a public meeting in the town.

More than 200 people attended the consultation meeting on December 6, ahead of the planning application being lodged with Wiltshire Council.

The meeting was held at the Assembly Hall and saw representatives of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust discuss the proposal with residents.

The trust is hoping to extend the Wilts & Berks Canal from Semington to the River Avon in the town centre, as part of an ambitious plan which will eventually connect Melksham to Abingdon and the River Thames.

The 3km canal will run along much of the route of the original Wilts & Berks Canal, which was abandoned in the 1920s.

The meeting was introduced by Richard Wiltshire, chair of Melksham Council’s canal working group, who said: “We’re currently putting the proposal through the planning system – the application has already had 188 public comments online.

“It will evolve as it goes through the planning system, and any positive contributions will be looked at seriously.

“Melksham would be the only town directly on the restored canal, and it would benefit from tourism and associated commercial and residential development.”

Concerns were raised by residents in the affected areas about the long-term impact of the canal, but Coun Wiltshire maintained they would be taken into account.

He said: “I think all the concerns that have been raised will be worked into the revised plans as it goes through the planning process. Nothing has been set in stone yet, and the plans are still to be finalised.”

The plan has been driven forward by volunteers of the canal trust, who have spent many years working to restore the waterway.

At the meeting, Ken Oliver of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust gave a presentation on the progress already made in restoring parts of the 58-mile project.

It was also attended by representatives from Melksham Chamber of Commerce, Wiltshire Council, Melksham Town Council, Melksham Without Parish Council and Melksham Community Area Partnership.

A decision from Wiltshire Council is expected in the new year.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:53pm Sun 23 Dec 12

bigbadjohn says...

"The 3km canal will run along much of the route of the original Wilts & Berks Canal, which was abandoned in the 1920s."

So of the 3km link, which bit goes along the original route? The whole project is going to cause massive inconvenience to the residents of Berryfields and doesn't follow the original route at all until it gets to the other side of Melksham. This whole project is a waste of time. Much of the original route is built on, and it is not a restoration at all it is basically a new canal.
"The 3km canal will run along much of the route of the original Wilts & Berks Canal, which was abandoned in the 1920s." So of the 3km link, which bit goes along the original route? The whole project is going to cause massive inconvenience to the residents of Berryfields and doesn't follow the original route at all until it gets to the other side of Melksham. This whole project is a waste of time. Much of the original route is built on, and it is not a restoration at all it is basically a new canal. bigbadjohn
  • Score: 0

1:04am Wed 26 Dec 12

beetawix says...

Concerns were raised by residents in the affected areas about the long-term impact of the canal, but Coun Wiltshire maintained they would be taken into account.
.
.
but only if deemed to be positive
Concerns were raised by residents in the affected areas about the long-term impact of the canal, but Coun Wiltshire maintained they would be taken into account. . . but only if deemed to be positive beetawix
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Wed 26 Dec 12

chp john says...

You are a miserable old sod bigbadjohn. I bet you would pee on your children's chips if you thought they were enjoying them.
You are a miserable old sod bigbadjohn. I bet you would pee on your children's chips if you thought they were enjoying them. chp john
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Thu 27 Dec 12

bigbadjohn says...

Thanks :-)
Thanks :-) bigbadjohn
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree