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Major Advance For Wey & Arun Canal Restoration

Published on: 24 Oct, 2015
Updated on: 29 Oct, 2015

The restoration of the Wey & Arun Canal has taken a significant step forward with the signing of a land lease.

With this agreement, the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT) can re-create 400 metres of the waterway’s Bramley Link section, south of Guildford.

Susan and Malcolm Brenton sign the lease for the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to re-construct 400 metres of the waterway on their land at Bramley.

Susan and Malcolm Brenton sign the lease for the Wey & Arun Canal Trust to re-construct 400 metres of the waterway on their land at Bramley.

The long lease is for farmland owned by trust supporters Susan and Malcolm Brenton. It will enable a stretch of the canal from Shalford down to the Tannery Lane Bridge near Bramley to be restored.

Mrs Brenton commented at the signing ceremony that she first came across WACT when she saw its plans at consultation sessions run by the Trust for Bramley people in 2004.

“Our lower field was shown as a possible route, so that raised our interest level,” she said. “We have always been keen supporters of the trust and are very happy to sign this lease.”

Mr Brenton added that the key word in the lease negotiations was ‘trust’. He felt there was a solid understanding on the part of both parties on how to get the restoration work done.

Also speaking at the ceremony, WACT’s Bramley Link Manager, Philip Oliver, thanked the Brentons for their generosity and commitment to the trust.

He also praised the volunteers who have worked on the Bramley Link project so far, particularly on the trust’s Hunt Nature Park project. The Newbury Working Party Group, the Waterway Recovery Group and the trust’s own Midweek Working Party were singled out for specific praise.

“The development of the park shows local residents that the Trust is serious in its intent to create not just a canal but a linear park around a waterway,” he said.

A year-long environmental impact assessment is being carried out on phase one of the Bramley Link, from the River Wey at Shalford down to the Gosden Aqueduct over the Cranleigh Waters stream.

Also under way for this phase are a civil engineering design study and a full flood study. Mr Oliver said the three studies will support a planning application expected to be made in summer 2016.

WACT has so far carried out work on more than half of the 23-mile Wey & Arun Canal route, from Pallingham in West Sussex to Shalford. It has restored three and a half miles to full navigation in the Loxwood area, where it runs public excursion boats.

The first fully restored section in Surrey, on the Summit Level between Alfold and Dunsfold, is due to open in September 2016. The trust is currently replacing a concrete causeway in the middle of this stretch with a new bridge.

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Responses to Major Advance For Wey & Arun Canal Restoration

  1. Mary Bedforth Reply

    October 25, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    The episode of Great Canal Journeys Series 3 Episode 1 was a great watch and most enjoyable.

    Timothy West and Prunella Scales travel by narrow boat from the Thames down to the coast.

    There is a Watch Again facility on Channel 4 similar to the BBC iPlayer.

    I believe that is David Rose in the photo.

    [David Rose replies: I was invited to spend a morning in June filming a piece for this episode. I met Tim and Pru with their film crew at Coxes Lock in Addlestone. The producer asked me to talk about the history of the Wey Navigation. All went well, but unfortunately it didn’t make the final cut as there were many other scenes that were filmed which touched on Pru’s childhood and their acting memories that were felt to be more pertinent. I am not disappointed as I really enjoyed meeting them and the experience to present some local history to camera was most useful. I haven’t seen the episode yet.]

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