12:30PM, Saturday 10 November 2018
Time is running out for the £8million town centre waterways project to secure funding to achieve its full potential, a meeting was told this week.
Richard Davenport, speaking at the group’s AGM on Tuesday, said a deal that will ensure large boats can travel the full length of the completed Maidenhead Waterways is being considered. The directors are fearful that if an agreement is not made to lower the channel depth before the construction work north of Chapel Arches is complete, larger boats will never be able to travel the full length of the waterway.
The lowering is expected to cost about £300,000. The meeting heard the council has offered to pay half if Shanly Homes, the developer behind the Chapel Arches project, pays the rest.
Mr Davenport said: “I have spoken to Michael Shanly personally. He told me discussions are continuing slowly, that’s all I can say.”
When complete, the waterways channel will be 1.3 metres deep, but the section under the arches will only be 0.6 metres, preventing larger boats from travelling the full length. At the meeting, directors went on to outline the longer-term plans for the waterways.
Funding is yet to be provided for work on Moor Cut, which will complete the town centre ‘loop’.
Mr Davenport said that it was ‘difficult’ to get the council to think beyond May 2019, when local elections will take place, but the directors were optimistic that money would be made available once the Reform Road development project begins.
They added that they hoped work connecting the completed loop to the Thames via Bray Cut would be completed by ‘2030-2040’.
John Morgan, chairman of the waterways technical group, said: “It can be delivered in the longer term, it’s not about us now, it’s about future generations.”
Also at the meeting, treasurer for 12 years David Sneglar announced he would step down from the role at the end of the financial year.
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