Meanwhile my week seems to have had a distinct Swindon focus with various meetings discussing canal design in Wichelstowe and the New Eastern Villages.
Middle Wichel District Centre is the next part of Wichelstowe to be built (the area opposite Waitrose) and the canal is certainly the centrepiece of this next phase so we are confirming all the details with the designers before a planning application is submitted shortly.
I wish there was more certainty about the canal being built as part of the New Eastern Villages- we continue to remind developers of the opportunity for enhancing their schemes and WBCT is still asking both the Environment Agency and Swindon Borough Council to consider building the canal as part of the land drainage and flood alleviation for the site.
Swindon Borough Council has just launched a Switch On to Swindon publicity campaign to promote the town. www.switchontoswindon.com I am sure we would all have much more reason to support this initiative if the restored canal was the focus for the town centre regeneration. The W&B team are still working very hard to persuade the decision makers this is the right thing to do and we hope to have some more to report soon. The message should be very clear- we are well on the way to rebuilding the canal- this is not an aspiration - it is happening now and the waterway, and Swindon in particular, will be the centre of a revived Southern Canals Network.
Last stop for the week with Max from the WBCT land team to discuss a proposal to extend Jubilee Junction (Abingdon) -we hope a proposed scheme will be able to progress in harmony with completion of some gravel abstraction. Its too early for any details but we all would like to make some progress 'in the east'.