Plan to link canal with Thames

Published: 1 Nov 2008 12:000 comments

A PROPOSAL to create a link between the River Thames and the Slough arm of the Grand Union Canal is included in a council document that could change the face of the town.

The Site Allocations Plan gives residents the chance to air their views on 88 proposed long-term developments, including the Heart of Slough project, the regeneration of Slough Trading Estate and the development of the canal basin.

The document, which can be viewed in full at Slough Library or on the council website and is summarised in the monthly Citizen magazine delivered to all residents, includes a joint proposal from Friends of Slough Canal and Inland Waterways Association, who represent river-users, that suggests extending the canal to bridge the one-and-a-half mile gap to the River Thames.

Friends of Slough Canal committee member, Mike Timms, said that although the idea was in its formative stages there was evidence from a similar scheme in Swindon that it was feasible.

He said: "This plan is in its very early stages but it could be of considerable improvement to the town. It could bring tourism and trade and would improve the amenities to the town and improve the town environmentally."

The Government requires all councils to publish details of long-term proposals in line with their Core Strategy, which the council finalised in August.

Head of planning, policy and projects, Paul Stimpson, said the canal extension was one of the more "unusual" proposals but hoped the document - which has replaced the town plan - would give residents an earlier opportunity to see what developments could be in the pipeline.

The proposed extension is one of four schemes to affect the canal alongside plans to build a hotel in the canal basin in Stoke Road and to build homes on the site of the former Langley oil terminal.

The report also includes proposals for affordable housing, a nature reserve at Chalvey Millennium Green in Seymour Road and to transform the former bus depot in Stoke Road into houses and shops.

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