Coun­cils lock horns over Daven­try Arm

Canal Boat - - News -

DIF­FER­ENT TIERS OF lo­cal gov­ern­ment in Northamp­ton­shire are at log­ger­heads over a pro­posed new branch of the Grand Union Canal to Daven­try.

Launched some years ago, the planned Daven­try Arm would head south­wards from the canal’s Main Line east of Braun­ston Tun­nel, climb through a boat lift or locks to run along­side Daven­try Reser­voir, end­ing on the north side of the town. Prepa­ra­tion work has in­cluded a new bridge (cur­rently a pedes­trian un­der­pass) built dur­ing road im­prove­ments, and de­tailed plan­ning.

How­ever, while Daven­try Dis­trict Coun­cil ( Con­ser­va­tive con­trolled) has backed the canal, Daven­try Town Coun­cil (a less po­lit­i­cal body with just four party mem­bers – three Labour, one Tory – out of 17) has op­posed it. Re­cently, Labour Dis­trict Coun­cil­lors tabled a mo­tion call­ing on the Dis­trict to note the costs and lack of ex­ter­nal fund­ing at­tracted, and stop work pend­ing con­sul­ta­tion and a ref­er­en­dum. Con­ser­va­tive Coun­cil­lors re­sponded that fund­ing had yet to be sought, and the canal would en­hance the town. The mo­tion was de­feated.

The Dis­trict has now launched a con­sul­ta­tion on an amended plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion, with locks in­stead of a lift, fewer bridges, and stop­ping short of the pro­posed ter­mi­nus. The Town Coun­cil re­sponded by vot­ing against the amend­ments, tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to raise con­cerns about the lack of a busi­ness plan, and main­te­nance costs which they fear would be borne by res­i­dents.

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