Branches Melksham Calne & Chippenham News
Melksham Link wins approval of Town Council
Friday, 19 October 2012 00:00

The scheme to run the restored Wilts & Berks Canal through Melksham has won the backing of Melksham Town Council.

Councillors voted on Monday to support an application to extend the existing canal from Semington to the River Avon in the town centre, in the first part of an ambitious scheme which will eventually connect the town to Abingdon and the River Thames.

Three kilometres of new waterway will be built, along with a pedestrian and cycle path. Three new locks, two road bridges and a weir in the river will also be added, allowing boats to travel through the town.

Melksham will be the first town directly located on the restored 19th century canal, which was abandoned in the 1920s.

The application from the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust was unanimously approved by the development control committee on Monday and will now go to Wiltshire Council for a final decision.

Cllr Richard Wiltshire, chairman of the council's canal working group, said: "This proposal will add much interest and character to Melksham and the Berry-fields area, in particular. "It will revitalise the river at Melksham and increase visitors for boating and other recreational activities associated with canals, footpaths and cycleways".

The scheme is the next phase of the 58-mile project to renovate the canal.

Cllr Terri Welch said: "As a town council we should support this scheme, as it will bring large benefits to our town."