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The charity making life better by water

Infrastructure provision

Waterways can support the growth of an area through informed policies and decision making.

Ilkeston towpath improvements

For example:

Our waterway infrastructure provides a public resource for walking and cycling and provides access to green infrastructure, both of which can benefit the wellbeing of communities.

Developments can also place additional liabilities and burdens onto the waterway infrastructure. Works to towpaths may be necessary to address the extra traffic resulting from a near-by development, or safety upgrades may be needed to our reservoirs as a direct result of development in the inundation zone.

If these opportunities are to be realised and the impacts mitigated planning policies and infrastructure delivery plans should address the funding of such works. Please contact us as we are happy to discuss whether infrastructure works to our network would be most appropriately funded via s106 or Community Infrastructure Levy. Below are some policy examples and our case studies illustrate these issues further.


Lichfield District Local Plan: Strategy (adopted 2015) Fradley Strategic Development Allocation. 1250 dwellings and associated development allocated on land either side of the Coventry Canal at Fradley. The allocation identifies infrastructure improvements to the canal as needing to be delivered as part of any development proposals. The Council’s current Infrastructure Delivery Plan also reflects these requirements. Planning permission for the first phase of development (750 houses) was granted subject to a S106 obligation requiring a developer contribution of £78000 towards canal towpath improvements.

Example****Branston Neighbourhood Plan (adopted 2015)

Developer Contributions – walking, cycling and equestrian activity. The following proposals for improved walking and cycling and equestrian routes through Branston will be supported through developer contributions from developments in the immediate vicinity:

  • The improvement of the Trent & Mersey Canal towpath for walking and cycling from Tatenhill Lock to Shobnall Lock. The towpath should include a hard standing route to link up with Shobnall Fields.


West Lancashire Council have committed £150,000 of CIL revenue to deliver canal towpath improvements between Burscough Wharf and Glovers Swing Bridge in 2017/18. The project helps to meet the corporate objectives of the council to protect and improve the environment and promote leisure, culture and healthier communities and helps to meet one of the councils’ Strategic Transport Priorities.

Last Edited: 19 November 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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