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News & Information from the Chairman

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Repairing the Breach: Here is our response to Bolton Planning Committee’s negative decision on the Watson Homes application.

The Canal Society is extremely disappointed at the decision of Bolton Planning Committee to reject this development application.

It represented the first realistic opportunity in 85 years to secure over £2.5 million investment for the repair of the 1936 breach. It would have created three miles of navigable canal from Hall Lane in Little Lever to Water Street in Radcliffe, providing canoe and paddling activities, the possibility of a day trip boat, together with improved cycling and walking routes. In addition it would have given a strong impetus to fund the restoration of the canal under Water Street to give five miles of navigable canal into Bury.

The proposed restoration of the canal would have brought economic, health, wellbeing and environmental benefits to the area, residents and visitors, as well as providing much-needed affordable housing.

This decision has resulted in lost opportunities to secure future funding for regeneration along and near the canal at Little Lever and beyond. The Society hopes that alternative schemes to repair the breach and to restore this length of the canal can be developed.

Working Parties have resumed. We hope that at first they will be held on the second Saturday of each month, starting on 12th February.

Open Meetings have also resumed. Alan Stopher from the Huddersfield Canal Society is coming on 22nd February, having originally been booked (and cancelled) in April 2020. The meetings on 22 March and 19th April are detailed on the Open Meetings page.

Paul Hindle
February 2022

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