Fringe Box



Letter: Funds Are Available for Weir Repair

Published on: 18 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 20 Nov, 2023

From: Tom Wolfenden

In response to: National Trust Accepts Sole Control of Weir Towpath Restoration But Warns of Further Delay

We should indeed welcome the clarity that the National Trust’s decision brings. Its many local members should follow Mr Neil-Smith’s [see readers comments below article] lead in lobbying for urgent action to scope and implement a “temporary” footbridge, and – if no action is taken – support a suitable motion at next year’s AGM.

Approaching £0.5 million of Section 106 developer’s planning [compensatory] contributions were assigned to the NT in 2019 specifically for improvements to the towpath along a section through Guildford town centre and including the weir.

Having been informed earlier this year that the NT navigations manager was unaware of these unspent monies, I understand that some £160,000 has now been allocated to repairs downstream, leaving some £300,000 unallocated.

For comparison, I understand the shorter replacement footbridge over Millmead lock in 2015 cost c£150,000. Mon If, as seems likely, more funds are required, GBC can still play a role by directing future S106 contributions appropriately.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to include such in the Debenhams redevelopment (particularly relevant, given the likely closure of the adjacent footpath along Millbrook during the several years of construction and demolition), was missed.

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