Gongoozler: Getting benefit from new developments

Published: Monday, 19 February 2018

THE recent planning application at Stratford-on-Avon got me thinking.

It is for a large bank-side housing development incorporating canal boat moorings. Now I thought this was a positive move forward. Have we a rare developer who sees the canal as a benefit rather than a nuisance and a planning authority with an intention to recognise the value of a waterway?

Paying lip service

Well the reality is not quite so encouraging. It turns out that the mooring might be stern on to the bank (good) but only has space for a dozen craft (less good). What’s wrong then? The scale of development is all wrong. There are over 1,000 homes planned plus a hotel, shops and industrial units. So the developers are just paying ‘lip service' to the good people of Stratford and using the canal for their own ends. Pretty pictures!

And the Local Authority? It is probably going to be fooled into thinking that a real contribution is being made to the canal which benefits the visitors that might use the facilities.

Prepared to stand-up

We need Local Authorities that are prepared to stand-up and support developments along waterways. They must demand that developers build-in benefits that will make a serious contribution to all users of canals whether they arrive on foot, cycle or boat and that there are places to moor to visit the facilities available.

Now is this a chance for the IWA to take the lead nationally?