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History of Restoration - Planning Policy

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I'm currently pulling together some notes on the history of canal restoration for leisure purposes (to remove things like the Thames and Severn in the 1930s and the even earlier Bradford Canal!) and a professional query threw me a curved ball. The query came from the Somersetshire Coal Canal Society and was "how long as our canal had protection under policy H3 of the local plan" - Policy H3 protects the line of the canal as an archaeological relic and has been in place "as long as I can remember" so probably at least since 2006, but I realised I had no idea how I'd check - once upon a time paper copies of old local plans could be found in the library, but paper copies are a thing of the past.  


The reason for the request was practical - it would be helpful in public debate to say how long the protection had been in force, but it set me thinking - when the history of canal restoration is written planning policy will be a significant part of that history, just as the original acts and other consents are now to the original canal building. When did restoration become a planning policy "thing"? I first worked on such a policy in 1996, to protect a route for the Derby Canal across Pride Park - but in my wide eyed innocence back then it never occurred to me that such a thing might be innovative, or that it might not be. 


Does anyone else have any knowledge of the history of planning policy on canal restoration?


Ta very much for any contributions!

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  • 2 weeks later...

but paper copies are a thing of the past"


Yes looking at these often requires an archives card or a visit to the antique map dealer.


Yet looking at the maps, that was often what was planned, but as the canal or river navigation was made, routes might change according to a number of factors.


Yet coming to the task of restoration there is also the element of change as the restoration proceeds.


With the Somerset Coal Canal there is the tramway, should elements be relaid, after all that was an early public railway.


Another aspect was the challenge to restoration. Take for example the Derby Canal and the attempts to stop it being abandoned.


Now the Derby Canal involves extensive engineering as reconstruction proceeds.



Edited by Heartland
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