Canoe club floats bid for better base

This Is Wiltshire: Devizes Canoe Club entrants in this year's Devizes to Westminster Devizes Canoe Club entrants in this year's Devizes to Westminster

Devizes Canoe Club has submitted an application to develop its new base.

Club members have to change in the car park of The Wharf by the Kennet and Avon Canal and has to borrow storage areasfrom the canal trust.

Last December Devizes Area Board agreed to transfer a council depot at Lower Wharf, off Northgate Street, to the canoe club under the community asset transfer scheme and in April the club rwas awarded £50,000 from Sport England towards the new centre.

Now it has submitted a planning application to Wiltshire Council for a change of use of the council depot to recreational use for the club and for the creation of a launching site at the canal edge. In addition the club also wants to build a boat store and shower and changing areas.

The council depot is used by employees in the road services and parking enforcement team.

In its planning application the club says: “The proposed plan will safeguard the canoe club’s future by providing adequate storage, a safe and accessible launching point, a club room, indoor training facilities, wet changing rooms and toilets. The necessary works to develop the site will not harm the character of the area nor create any detriment to local residents living over 100 metres from the proposed community club.”

The club was formed in 2009 and is a family orientated club with 115 members.

A key feature of the development brief for the Wharf area is a footpath from Lower Wharf to The Wharf and the club says a strip of land will be reserved to enable the path to be developed should other landowners make land available.

The club says it will need to remove two trees to stablise the bank and develop the canoe access.

It also proposes to create four parking spaces for club members, one a disabled parking space.

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