Fringe Box



Letter: There is Now Some Movement on Tumbling Bay Weir

Published on: 7 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 7 Jan, 2024

From: Angela Richardson

Conservative MP for Guildford

See: National Trust Accepts Sole Control of Weir Towpath Restoration But Warns of Further Delay

In December, as I have already reported on Facebook, I was pleased to meet with representatives of the National Trust, including Tristan Brown, General Manager of the Wey Navigation, and Steve, the local navigation manager, alongside Cllr Richard Mills (Con, Castle Ward) to discuss the ongoing situation at Tumbling Bay Weir.

As residents know all too well, the dispute has been going on for over four years, with the ownership of the weir proving inconclusive, even with 300 years of National Trust files being looked through.

Angela Richardson making a point to Tristan Brown General Manager of the Wey Navigation. On the left is Cllr Richard Mills.

Given the inconclusive ownership, shared arrangements on the cost of the repair between partners and the National Trust were explored but, unfortunately, these were paused earlier in the year.

Following my recent conversations and communications since September with the then-DEFRA Secretary of State and Minister about this matter, I am pleased to see that we are seeing movement on the ground.

The National Trust appreciates the significance of the weir to the people of Guildford and the value of the riverside amenity, therefore, they have decided to take 100 per cent of the responsibility, the ownership and the cost of the replacement of the weir.

I am grateful that the National Trust has worked constructively with partners to resolve this dispute over the last four years and I would like to thank their staff for allowing me access to the weir itself.

I am encouraged that they will be commissioning a feasibility study into the replacement shortly, funded from money raised at National Trust facilities on the Wey Navigation.

The National Trust is to be commended in taking leadership on this issue and I know that residents will be grateful for their efforts.

This long saga is yet another example where the Lib Dem-run borough council has not acted in local residents’ best interests, voting in January of this year to ‘do nothing’ to aid a solution.

It is a shame for residents that this situation hasn’t resolved itself sooner and we will need to wait a little longer before we see movement on the ground, but I am pleased that progress is now being made.

Residents can rest assured that I will continue close conversations with the National Trust to follow all developments.

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Responses to Letter: There is Now Some Movement on Tumbling Bay Weir

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    January 7, 2024 at 3:49 pm

    This is a rehash of old news, published by The Dragon many weeks ago and now being used for unworthy political comment. I recall writing about it then and remarking that the National Trust has only agreed to fund a feasibility study, not a programme of work.

    I also commented, in support of my view that the reinstatement may take a long time to come to fruition, and if the example of Clandon Park House is used as a precedent, don’t hold your breath. The fire there took place on April 29 2015, almost nine years ago, butthe house is still clad in scaffolding and plastic sheeting and is in a largely similar condition to that left by the Fire Service all those years ago.

  2. Roger Kendall Reply

    January 7, 2024 at 5:54 pm

    It is totally wrong that the National Trust, a charity has to fund this weir repair without a contribution from Guildford Borough Council. This is one of the towns finest open spaces and the town should give towards it.

    NT’s income comes from donors nationwide yet they are expected to pay for all of it and the residents contribute nothing.

  3. jim allen Reply

    January 8, 2024 at 5:03 pm

    ‘June 1601: An Act For making Navigable the River of Wye.’, in Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660, ed. C H Firth and R S Rait (London, 1911), …..

    ….to cut and dig a new River or Trench for the better effecting of the said Navigation, in the most convenient places where they shall think fit; and to take away all Trees and Roots, and remove all Impediments that may any way hinder the said intended Passage or Navigation; And to erect and make Locks, Weres, Turn pikes, Pens for water, and Wharfs to lay on Timber, and all other Materials that shall be brought to or from Guildford, where they shall think fit; and to amend and alter such Bridges as may hinder the said Passage, leaving them as fit for Carts, Waggons, Horse and Foot, as they were before; and to do all other things necessary for the better conveniency of the said River and Passage, and for the repairing and amending of the same from time to time, and at all times hereafter. …..

    ….by vertue of this Act, shall have power and authority from time to time to ordain and make Orders and Constitutions for the good and orderly way of all Boats and Boatmen belonging to the said Passage; and to set, lay and execute such reasonable Penalties upon the breakers thereof, as they shall think fit. And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That when any of the said Commissioners shall happen to dye, that then and so often it shall and may be lawful for the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being, from time to time to supply one Commissioner, or so many Commissioners as shall make and fill up the number of twelve Commissioners, to be chosen as aforesaid respectively by the several parties, if any by them so Elected as aforesaid shall happen to dye, upon the Request of the surviving Commissioners…..

    ….to have and use a certain Path of one foot and an half in breadth on either side of the said River of Wye, for drawing up by strength of men, lines, ropes, winches, and other Engines, their Boats, Barges and other Vessels, passing and repassing the said River of Wye, without ye hindrance, trouble or impeachment of any person or persons whatsoever, Provided always, That it shall not be lawful to the said Major and Corporation of Guildford

    Seems like someone is failing the 1651 act! by causing hinderence trouble or impeachment!

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