Planning permission sought for canal restoration

Published: Wednesday, 08 July 2020

THE Chesterfield Canal Trust has submitted a planning application for the restoration of the remainder of the canal within Chesterfield.

Staveley puddlebank May 1970This covers the 1.6 miles from Staveley to the edge of Renishaw. The application can be viewed on Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning website.

The route is mostly through open countryside. Part of it sits on the Staveley Puddlebank (pictured as in 1970) which is an embankment running for nearly half a mile across the Doe Lea river valley. The canal will cross the river on a 37m long aqueduct.

Build anothr lock

The volunteers from the Trust will build another lock at Staveley to complement Staveley Town Lock which they built a few years ago.  Altogether the Trust has spent well over £200,000 on its work on this site.  Derbyshire County Council’s Reclamation Department has also sunk considerable funds into the project which, along with the Loop Road, has totally transformed the area.

opening of Staveley Town 2016The canal is integral to the local landscape and the Trust is discussing how the restoration is central to the vision for Staveley currently being developed as part of the Town's Fund.  Staveley is one of 101 towns allocated up to £25m each to support capital regeneration projects, and the Trust believes that this application should be one of the chosen projects.  The picturesshows the opening of Staveley Town Lock in 2016.

Stopped by coronavirus

The Trust was planning to start restoration work at Renishaw on a further kilometre of canal, working with volunteers, however the Covid-19 situation stopped it. The hope is that this work can start in the autumn. When both sections are complete, they will extend the canal within Derbyshire by 2½ miles.

In 1989, 20 miles of the Chesterfield Canal lay derelict between Worksop and Chesterfield.  Since then 12 miles and 34 locks have been restored. three new locks and 11 bridges have been built plus two marinas.  Just over eight miles remain to be completed and this planning application covers 20% of that distance. 

This is the next step in the Trust’s campaign to complete the restoration of the canal by 2027, which will be the 250th Anniversary of its opening.  For further information, search for Chesterfield Canal Trust.