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There has been a planning application submitted for new housing beside the Caldon Canal at Froghall Basin. The application seems to relate to the wharf area at the former Trent & Mersey Canal Co warehouse, but there a concern that restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal may be affected

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Link is here: http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=142566

 

Had a look and sounds like it would be complete blight on my favourite section of canal :(

 

The development would also obliterate the remains of the Uttoxeter Canal in Froghall that lie beyond the basin, ending any possibility of restoring any further part of it. 

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If allowed to happen this would completely block any connection between the Caldon Canal/Froghall basin and the rest of the Uttoxter Canal line.

 

The developer's argument for this is set out in the Planning and Affordable Housing Statement thus:

 

"The route of the former Uttoxeter Canal non-designated heritage asset - the significance of this heritage asset is determined to be “low”. There has been an ambition to restore the route of this canal in the future, however due to various site constraints and financial constraints, it is not considered that it would be viable to do so. Paragraph 197 of the [National Planning] Framework states that in determining applications that directly or indirectly affect non-designated heritage assets, a balanced judgement will be required, having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset. In this case, the significance of the non-designated heritage asset is considered to be low, but is a matter to be considered in the overall planning balance."

 

As far as I can see from a quick look they have not attempted to address the canal restoration proposals in any way, apart from this statement.

 

The Caldon and Uttoxeter Canals Trust response to the planning application can be found at https://www.cuct.org.uk/news/158/proposed-housing-froghall-would-permanently-block-uttoxeter-canal-restoration.  They are going to object to the proposals, but the objection wold be much stronger if boaters and others could submit their own objections direct to the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. I will be be submitting an objection.

 

Details of the application and how to object can be found on the Staffordshire Moorlands website at http://publicaccess.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=142566.

 

Edited by David Mack
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Despite being replaced by the railway a good deal of the Uttoxeter canal line still exists with viable diversions planned where the original route can't be used.

It's a long term job but can be done as long as the planning authorities protect the line from over zealous developers.

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This is the newsletter that I received from the canal trust.

 

Proposed housing at Froghall would permanently block the Uttoxeter Canal restoration

Dear all

A planning application has recently been submitted for land directly south of the basin at the start of the Uttoxeter Canal in Froghall. This application puts 49 new houses between the basin and nearby A52. Based on the information provided we can confirm that, if approved, the development would block all possible alignments for the canal through Froghall, and would permanently end our ongoing project to restore the Uttoxeter Canal. It would remove the opportunity to attract funding and support for improvements not only in Froghall but also the 7 miles of canal between there and Denstone, and would end ongoing volunteer-led works in the Alton and Crumpwood areas. The proposal contravenes both the adopted Churnet Valley Masterplan and the Staffordshire Moorlands Local Plan as it destroys the line of the canal, which is a nationally recognised historic monument. Both the planning documents record the route of the canal in Froghall and support restoration as a long term aspiration, with a pedestrian route from the canal basin to the A52, down the original towpath, as a short term goal.

The first lock and basin of the Uttoxeter Canal were reopened in 2005, in a £625k partnership project between volunteers, British Waterways, local and regional authorities, backed by the European Regional Development Fund. The 2009 restoration feasibility study demonstrated that the line of the canal from Froghall as far as Denstone was largely extant and could be restored with minimal deviations from the original line in Oakamoor and Alton, and in a few places where it was crossed by the later railway line. New alignments for the canal in all these locations have been identified. In 2012, the Trust began restoration works further down the canal between Alton and Denstone, in a £105k project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (now National Lottery Heritage Fund) as the single largest project in the £2m Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership. This grant was used to restore Bridge 70, clear the line of the canal and towpath in that area, laying 250m of new towpath in the process. Since then volunteers have cleared an additional 1.5km of towpath and have uncovered the site of three locks and other heritage structures along the line of the canal, including the grade II listed and unique Crumpwood Weir, where boats previously crossed the River Churnet.

The Trust strongly encourages all who are interested in the restoration of the Uttoxeter Canal, or indeed any of the related footpath and environmental improvements which have been undertaken or are proposed, to look at the application, SMD/2020/0684, and to respond to it. The Trust will be opposing the application in its own comprehensive response in due course and a significant number of early responses supporting our view would be incredibly helpful. Our ideal outcome would be that this application is withdrawn before the closing date and resubmitted in a form which does not block the line of the canal. This essentially means only building on the land designated for housing in the local plan, and we would have no objection to this. Responses need to be submitted via the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council website by 17th March.
 
Thank you for your support.

Steve Wood
Chairnan

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Shocked, apalled but not surprised, nothing it seems is safe from the developers these days...............................
The plans and reports are extensive it will take some time to get through all of them.
The developers must have spent a fortune in having these prepared...............small beer I suppose in the overall development..............but the future restoration plans whilst not omitted are clearly being brushed aside by them.
Having been involved in the restoration of Lock 1 and the basin along with many other volunteers I think I can speak for them all when I say I didn't give my time up for something like this to come along 15 years later.................

 

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1 hour ago, Graham_Robinson said:

Having been involved in the restoration of Lock 1 and the basin along with many other volunteers I think I can speak for them all when I say I didn't give my time up for something like this to come along 15 years later.................

I've already spoken to a number of WRGies who worked on Froghall and have since worked down at Crumpwood or Alton, where we have hosted three WRG reunions in recent years as well as a number of family camps and a dozen or so other camps. Their perspective is especially important as it demonstrates a long term commitment to restoring the canal so we are encouraging everyone to submit a comment, even if it is only a few lines.

 

Cheers,

Steve

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It is useful that Steve Wood has posted these details, I am trying to discover who is behind the application and am concerned also about their tactics. That is extracting elements of a truth in order to give support to their aims.

 

Their identity is not clear in what I have read.

 

Yet the Caldon & Uttoxeter have clear plans for restoration of the waterway, which even after the railway was built had sections left untouched. Restoration of the canal would provide boaters with a scenic length of waterway and yet another river section to negotiate further along the Churnet  (to the existing navigable section-at Consall). At present their plans have yet to include a navigation to the terminus at Uttoxeter, but what is planned would be a welcome extension to the network. To block the navigation with houses is not unique and those restoring the Chesterfield have this problem to resolve.  But to do it seems counter productive. Having a working waterway beside modern homes is an asset these days, not a hindrance unless the developers consider the present terminus waterway  enough.

 

It would also be on interest to see who the present landowner is. It would have been the railway at one time, of course. 

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1 hour ago, Heartland said:

Yet the Caldon & Uttoxeter have clear plans for restoration of the waterway, which even after the railway was built had sections left untouched. Restoration of the canal would provide boaters with a scenic length of waterway and yet another river section to negotiate further along the Churnet  (to the existing navigable section-at Consall). At present their plans have yet to include a navigation to the terminus at Uttoxeter, but what is planned would be a welcome extension to the network.

 

It is awkward - I'm quite sure that the planners will point out a few things :

  • The estimated cost of restoration is now over £90Million. Therefore is it actually a practical project?
  • At the Basin there is no sign of anything going on - it just ends.
  • Would people really use it? How many people make the transit of the tunnel and go down into the basin.

 

I know when we went into the basin in 2019 there were small trees growing in Lock One and it really felt that no-one had been through the lock for ages.

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1 hour ago, Heartland said:

 

 

It would also be on interest to see who the present landowner is. It would have been the railway at one time, of course. 

I wouldn't be surprised if it was the owner of the listed property on the site. I had a look around it 3 years ago when it looked as if a "restoration" had started but then abandoned. 

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34 minutes ago, StephenA said:

 

It is awkward - I'm quite sure that the planners will point out a few things :

  • The estimated cost of restoration is now over £90Million. Therefore is it actually a practical project?
  • At the Basin there is no sign of anything going on - it just ends.
  • Would people really use it? How many people make the transit of the tunnel and go down into the basin.

 

I know when we went into the basin in 2019 there were small trees growing in Lock One and it really felt that no-one had been through the lock for ages.

I guess most boaters that made it s far as the tunnel entrance would automatically go into the basin if only they could do so. We would, but can't!

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Can those in the know summarise what content should be included to ensure an objection is effective as possible. Or is it just a case of summarising the Uttoxeter canal trust mail?

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17 hours ago, Mike Todd said:

I guess most boaters that made it s far as the tunnel entrance would automatically go into the basin if only they could do so. We would, but can't!

 

And they can't do much with the tunnel without basically changing the road as there isn't enough space.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, nbfiresprite said:

Is not the Froghall area prone to heavy flooding after prolong rain. Not the place to build houses that are insurable againist the risk of flooding.

 

 

 

834001277_floodrisk.jpg.ae648f3501f8647bcc3049f0896bbf05.jpg

Froghall Station recently.. 

 

0_Flooding-at-Froghall-Railway-StationJPG.jpg

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3 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Froghall Station recently.. 

 

0_Flooding-at-Froghall-Railway-StationJPG.jpg

 

 

It's odd but flood risks are pretty much always ignored by planners, and often poo-pooed by the planning inspectorate when things get passed up to them.

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There are other threads that have recently discussed the practicality of waterway restoration schemes, but the people associated with the Caldon & Uttoxeter seem to be determined to progress with the restoration.

 

Any scheme may appear hopeless but without commitment schemes such as the restoration of the Caldon Canal would not have happened, and now it is a popular route for boaters. The Uttoxeter Canal, was not a success financially, it is fair to state and whilst it served some industry, the making of it came at time when the canal company was enjoying a period of prosperity and was not only looking to improve their waterway but was keen to extend it. The closure of the Uttoxeter Canal proved to be useful to the North Staffordshire Railway company who incorporated the communication corridor in their scheme to link Stoke with the East Midlands, but in modern times there is a need for improving navigations where possible. 

 

This may well be a big challenge at present, and finance may not be there, but to build houses across a proposed restoration scheme will destroy all hopes for that plan.. It has already been pointed our that this is perhaps not the best location for homes as there is a flood risk, but then the developers seem blind to this aspect and they also seem blind the the possibility of a canal providing the means of drainage for land where houses may be built at suitable locations. There is perhaps an irony here that when built the Uttoxeter Canal carried water further down the valley and when it closed and was filled in the flood risk increased. 

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The that I worked on in the 70's and 80's the Wey & Arun looked totally impossible to finish at the time, but with one major road blockage restored and several miles of navigable canal now available it's going great guns, another big road blockage in the the plans to be done soon.

The Wilts & Berks has Swindon built over the middle but viable alternative routes have been found and restoration is proceeding, even the new connection to the Thames is done.

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15 hours ago, buccaneer66 said:

The that I worked on in the 70's and 80's the Wey & Arun looked totally impossible to finish at the time, but with one major road blockage restored and several miles of navigable canal now available it's going great guns, another big road blockage in the the plans to be done soon.

The Wilts & Berks has Swindon built over the middle but viable alternative routes have been found and restoration is proceeding, even the new connection to the Thames is done.

 

 

https://weyarun.org.uk/restoration-tickners-album

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Well done for raising this, thank you. I have objected, took about 5 minutes, on the council website link given in David Macks post.

Agree with all the sentiments here and objected for those reasons. In any case, the restoration can be progressed step by step, and if you block it at the start of the route that's a disaster and a terrible missed opportunity. 

Hope the application gets rejected or resubmitted safeguarding a viable route for the canal.

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On 25/02/2021 at 18:04, Alan de Enfield said:

 

 

Did you intend to add an "un" in that sentence ?

I shouldn't think that he did. "Not the place to build houses that are insurable" suggests that such houses would be uninsurable, which I'm guessing is what FS meant.

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