Consultation on a new Chester Canal Conservation Area

27 June 2016

The Chester Canal Heritage Trust in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council are asking for views on a proposed Conservation Area along the historic section of the Shropshire Union Canal (formerly known as The Chester Canal).

The proposed area is a linear 28 mile canal corridor. It abuts the Ellesmere Port Docks conservation area in Cheshire West and ends at the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal - Nantwich Junction Bridge (92) in Cheshire East. 

Its special character is derived from its historic origins and overall character. The canal was constructed when the Chester Canal Act was passed in 1772. It is unique for being one of the earliest broad beam canals, built to provide a link from the port of Chester to the salt towns of Cheshire. 

A conservation area appraisal, management plan and gazetteer has been written for the proposed conservation area. This provides information on what features contribute to the special architectural and historic qualities of the canal.

The consultation starts on the 27 June for 12 weeks. Any individual, organisation, or business interested in participating is being asked to send their comments to Cheshire West and Chester council. This can be done by completing an online or postal questionnaire by 18 September 2016.

The results of the consultation will be considered by Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East councils. The canal will form part of a number of important canal heritage sites such as the Trent and Mersey Canal conservation area and Poncysyllte Aqueduct and Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site, if adopted.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West and Chester Council said: "This is a very exciting and positive venture. The conservation area appraisal and gazetteer will serve as a key evidence base to inform the designation of a conservation area for this important stretch of the canal.

"We would like to hear your views and are consulting on the draft appraisal over the next twelve weeks. I would urge anyone with an interest in the character of this important canal, its historic buildings and structures and its high amenity value to take the time to complete the questionnaire." Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cabinet member for housing and planning in Cheshire East, whose portfolio includes responsibility for the Borough's heritage, said: "This is an exciting, collaborative partnership with Chester Canal Heritage Trust, the two unitary authorities and the Canal and River Trust.

"By sharing specialist resources we have identified features and structures which we feel should be preserved in perpetuity.

"This was an important transport link dating back to the late 18th Century and played a vital role in the development of the County's salt industry and many other industries and commercial enterprises along its route.

"Our conservation proposals and recommendations establish common goals and objectives to enhance this length of waterway, which is now extremely popular for leisure cruising, walking, cycling and other related activities."

The formal consultation period runs until 18 September, 2016.

For more information contact the Cheshire West and Chester Total Environment Team: To take part in the consultation, please complete the online or postal questionnaire, returned to Cheshire West and Chester Council. www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/ChesterCanal

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