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Setback for North Shropshire canal restoration plans

North Shropshire | News | Published:

Major plans to transform and restore a stretch of north Shropshire canal have suffered a setback after councillors refused a bid to help fund the project.

Major plans to transform and restore a stretch of north Shropshire canal have suffered a setback after councillors refused a bid to help fund the project.

The Whitchurch Waterway Trust wants to extend the canal and create a new basin with moorings in the town.

But at last night's annual meeting of Whitchurch Town Council members rejected a bid for funding from the trust.

Councillors said they had already given the trust money in the past and had not had any evidence of what it had been used for.

The trust needs money to help the project get of the ground, including lodging a planning application.

But councillors last night agreed to make the planning application to save the trust money.

Ticker Harris, town councillor, said: "We have gave them money before. I don't see why we should throw more at them."

Councillor Peggy Mullock, newly-elected mayor of Whitchurch, proposed the council ask the trust to send information on what had happened to the money previously handed out.

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The project, which is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to set-up, would bring canal boat users nearer to the town centre and become a tourist attraction for Whitchurch.

It would leave scope for the canal to be extended further towards the town centre in the future using locks or an inclined plane.

Work took place earlier this year on drilling boreholes to investigate the soil conditions on an area of land just beyond Chemistry Bridge - the proposed site of the new mooring basin.

Results of the survey have revealed no contamination in the area, which means trust members can now start preparing for planning permission.

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The scheme won the backing of trust members at a meeting held last year. Before the meeting members had five potential schemes to consider including a multi-million pound water park on the canal arm.

Meanwhile, at last night's meeting councillors agreed to put some money aside towards carrying out feasibility studies to a number of projects they are considering as part of the town's revitalisation scheme.

By James Pugh

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