The Canal & River Trust is seeking an amendment to the Growth & Infrastructure Bill which it believes undermines planning protections to its 2,000-mile network of historic waterways.
The Trust has written to the Government setting out its objections to the Bill, and requesting that the same protection be given to its canals and rivers as that afforded to land held by the National Trust.
The Trust is very concerned that provisions in the Bill put the unique public assets which it cares for, and the public benefit they deliver, at significant risk. The provisions of the Bill provide that they will be treated in planning terms significantly less favourably than National Trust land held inalienably (that includes historic waterways) and yet the value of each to the nation are the same regardless of the different trusteeship.
Government ministers have agreed to meet with the Canal & River Trust and Inland Waterways Association on 5 March to discuss their concerns over the proposed Growth & Infrastructure Bill. Supported by a group of cross party Peers, the Trust believes that, left unchanged, the Bill would reduce current planning safeguards protecting the 2,000 miles of waterways in its care and is calling for equal protections to those given the National Trust.
The Trust welcomes the intervention of Conservative Peer Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots who has tabled amendments to the Bill (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/lbill/2012-2013/0085/amend/am085-d.htm) which would give the nation’s historic canals and rivers the level of protection they deserve.