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Leo No2

Braunston Tunnel Path

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I would be interested to know if anyone has experienced difficulties in using the path over the top of Braunston Tunnel recently - especially around the new housing development adjacent to the A361 (Ashby Road).

 

I am taking this matter up with Northamptonshire County Council, Canal & River Trust (East Midlands) and Braunston Parish Council, as it is an intrinsic part of the long distance walking path between Birmingham and London, on behalf on HNBC  as I know of two people, in the last 3 weeks, who have been inconvenienced by the lack of signage provided by the company building in that area.  I understand there should be a well signed diversion around the building (diversion on H&S grounds I believe).

 

Grateful to know if anyone has experienced difficulties recently or in fact has found no problem at all.

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Is the site just extending to the bridle way or North of this as well??

 

Screenshot_20190922-182224_Maps.jpg

 

They really should start improving Daventry itself before extending it in all directions with even more characterless housing estates.

Edited by matty40s

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4 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Is the site just extending to the bridle way or North of this as well??

They really should start improving Daventry itself before extending it in all directions with even more characterless housing estates.

I am going to go and have a look during the week and take some photos.  I imagine it is the building company spreading itself around a bit but a diversion does, if I remember correctly, require County Council approval.  I'll report back when I have seen it and post some images.

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Here is the CRT notice:

 

Orbit Homes are developing the new Mickle Well Park development of 450 new homes, public open spaces, shops, school and playgrounds. 

To enable the site preparation and construction works to be carried out safely, we are diverting members of the public from the historic towpath route over Braunston Tunnel onto an alternative route that is signed on-site. 

If you have any concerns over the diversion please contact Orbit Homes on  02476 14 8280

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1 minute ago, Lady C said:

Here is the CRT notice:

 

Orbit Homes are developing the new Mickle Well Park development of 450 new homes, public open spaces, shops, school and playgrounds. 

To enable the site preparation and construction works to be carried out safely, we are diverting members of the public from the historic towpath route over Braunston Tunnel onto an alternative route that is signed on-site. 

If you have any concerns over the diversion please contact Orbit Homes on  02476 14 8280

Thank you - that's most helpful - CRT claim to know nothing about it and have turned enquirers away from the Stop House - I'll be enquiring further in the morning.

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47 minutes ago, Leo No2 said:

Thank you - that's most helpful - CRT claim to know nothing about it and have turned enquirers away from the Stop House - I'll be enquiring further in the morning.

Is the Stop House manned by CRT staff now

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14 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Is the Stop House manned by CRT staff now

Yes there are CRT staff at the Stop House and also Volunteers.

 

An update on the footpath - thank you for the advice provided.  CRT are on the case this morning - there should be a TTRO in place - a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (you learn something new every day) but there isn't a live one.

 

CRT are going to make the necessary enquiries today and let me know the outcome.

 

A couple of maps below - one showing the new development and one the area as it was/is.  I hope there will be a footpath in the new set up - well I believe legally there has to be.

 

Thank you for the help in arriving at where we are now.

 

Mickle Well.jpg

Screenshot 2019-09-23 at 09.49.04.png

Edited by Leo No2

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14 hours ago, ditchcrawler said:

Is the Stop House manned by CRT staff now

It has been for some time, I think.

For example, the area moorings department is based there.

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If the tunnel footpath is a public right of way a TTRO should have been applied for and granted before the original route was closed. The council can probably grant one pretty quickly if need be, but otherwise they should be forcing the developer to reopen the path immediately.

If the path is not a public right of way (as most towpath isn't), then this is largely a private matter between CRT and the developer.  

But in any event I would have thought the land comprising the tunnel path would belong to CRT, so they should have control over this anyway. 

Sounds like CRT have not execised sufficient control of the situation.

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1 hour ago, David Mack said:

If the tunnel footpath is a public right of way a TTRO should have been applied for and granted before the original route was closed. The council can probably grant one pretty quickly if need be, but otherwise they should be forcing the developer to reopen the path immediately.

If the path is not a public right of way (as most towpath isn't), then this is largely a private matter between CRT and the developer.  

But in any event I would have thought the land comprising the tunnel path would belong to CRT, so they should have control over this anyway. 

Sounds like CRT have not execised sufficient control of the situation.

The Ordnance Survey map shows the footpath, but as a private path, not a public right of way. Presumably it has the same status as most of the Canal Towpaths, indsofar as the public have "permitted access" so C&RT's responsibility.

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Curiosity.

It looks to me that at least some of the new houses will be directly over the tunnel.

How much soil will there be between the tunnel roof and the building foundations?

 

Bod

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4 hours ago, David Mack said:

The council can probably grant one pretty quickly if need be

I don't know if a previous application sped things up but I forced Barrett Homes and they got one in 24 hours.

 

(Motto of the story - don't waste time looking smug at big business. I was walking the dog along a footpath adjacent to a large housing development which I'd walked many times before when I was stopped by one of the site managers who said the footpath was closed. I drew his attention to the fact that the list of closed footpaths on the TTRO didn't include the one I was on. He didn't say anything but walked away; the next day a new TTRO notice had gone up including one new entry...)

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3 hours ago, Bod said:

Curiosity.

It looks to me that at least some of the new houses will be directly over the tunnel.

How much soil will there be between the tunnel roof and the building foundations?

 

Bod

I didnt realise the new development was to the East of Ashby Road, there are no houses directly above the tunnel line there, it looks like the existing farm access road is the Southern boundary of the new estate.

It would be quite simple to sign a diversion from the towpath to the roundabout as there are existing paths already there.

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4 hours ago, Bod said:

Curiosity.

It looks to me that at least some of the new houses will be directly over the tunnel.

How much soil will there be between the tunnel roof and the building foundations?

 

Bod

At least they're building the houses after the tunnel was dug. There's an old house just down the way from me that was tunneled under when the GWR was built. The tunnel is alarmingly close to it. 

 

http://www.bristolbathrailwaypath.org.uk/map7.shtml

 

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1384669

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CRT are on the case and it seems there is no TTRO in place; CRT believe there should a TTRO in place.  I am pretty confident that this will be sorted by the end of the week.  CRT could not get an answer out of Orbit Homes yesterday but were kind enough to tell me so.

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4 hours ago, Leo No2 said:

CRT are on the case and it seems there is no TTRO in place; CRT believe there should a TTRO in place.  I am pretty confident that this will be sorted by the end of the week.  CRT could not get an answer out of Orbit Homes yesterday but were kind enough to tell me so.

CRT are making this very complicated.

As previously mentioned only a very small amount of the over tunnel "towpath" is a public right of way This is to the other side of the main road, away from the building site. Therefore a TTRO is not relevant. This is, essentially, a land dispute between CRT and Orbit. The Council could be involved if Orbit are not sticking to the "agreed details and timetable"

 

According to the planning file of Daventry Council, Orbit Homes have had extensive consultations with CRT and the planning permission includes:

 

Condition Prior to the commencement of development, a detailed scheme of investigation in relation to the Braunston Canal Tunnel shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. This scheme shall identify the precise extent of building exclusion zones associated with the Braunston Canal Tunnel, establish the location of any construction shafts and identify any measures necessary to protect the shafts and tunnel both during construction and after implementation to minimise the risk of land instability. The scheme shall also include a proposed timetable for the implementation of the works therein, and the scheme shall thereafter be implemented in accordance with the agreed timetable.
Reason To ensure the safety of the canal tunnel and minimise the risk of land instability.
Condition Prior to the commencement of development, precise details of the route, width, construction, and surfacing of the improved boat-horse road / overland towpath, together with the position, structural design and broad informational content of the interpretation boards, and a timetable for the delivery of both the path improvements and the interpretation boards, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The works shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed details and timetable.
   

 

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6 minutes ago, MartinC said:

CRT are making this very complicated.

As previously mentioned only a very small amount of the over tunnel "towpath" is a public right of way This is to the other side of the main road, away from the building site. Therefore a TTRO is not relevant. This is, essentially, a land dispute between CRT and Orbit. The Council could be involved if Orbit are not sticking to the "agreed details and timetable"

 

According to the planning file of Daventry Council, Orbit Homes have had extensive consultations with CRT and the planning permission includes:

 

Condition Prior to the commencement of development, a detailed scheme of investigation in relation to the Braunston Canal Tunnel shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. This scheme shall identify the precise extent of building exclusion zones associated with the Braunston Canal Tunnel, establish the location of any construction shafts and identify any measures necessary to protect the shafts and tunnel both during construction and after implementation to minimise the risk of land instability. The scheme shall also include a proposed timetable for the implementation of the works therein, and the scheme shall thereafter be implemented in accordance with the agreed timetable.
Reason To ensure the safety of the canal tunnel and minimise the risk of land instability.
Condition Prior to the commencement of development, precise details of the route, width, construction, and surfacing of the improved boat-horse road / overland towpath, together with the position, structural design and broad informational content of the interpretation boards, and a timetable for the delivery of both the path improvements and the interpretation boards, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The works shall be implemented in accordance with the agreed details and timetable.
   

 

Thanks Martin - I don't wish to defend CRT but the person who is looking into it on my behalf has only recently joined and is, I imagine, on a steep learning curve.  Your help in providing this information is much appreciated.

Edited by Leo No2

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6 minutes ago, Leo No2 said:

Thanks Martin - I don't wish to defend CRT but the person who is looking into it on my behalf has only recently joined and is, I imagine, on a steep learning curve.  Your help in providing this information is much appreciated.

And your CRT man should now be chasing the council to show that Orbit have indeed provided all the required details of the path and interpretation boards, before the development work commenced. Indeed I would be surprised if CRT were not involved in signing these off.

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