Road safety fear over Devizes Canoe Club's planned new base

This Is Wiltshire: Access to to Devizes Canoe Club’s proposed new base will be past Cyprus Terrace, seen here on the right, from the Wadworth Brewery. Picture by Paul Morris Access to to Devizes Canoe Club’s proposed new base will be past Cyprus Terrace, seen here on the right, from the Wadworth Brewery. Picture by Paul Morris

Residents living by Lower Wharf are worried the narrow road will not cope with traffic going to Devizes Canoe Club’s proposed new base and could be dangerous to pedestrians.

Wiltshire Council has agreed to transfer a depot used by its parking enforcement staff at the far end of Lower Wharf to the canoe club, which has submitted plans for a change of use and to build a boat store.

Several residents objected to the plan.

Lower Wharf is off Northgate Street and goes past the side of the Assize Courts. The access down Lower Wharf affects residents in Cyprus Terrace and Dundas Court.

Eva Stanford, of Cyprus Terrace, said: “We have to use the back access from our house and it’s dangerous as it is.”

Becky Herd, another resident of Cyprus Terrace, said: “Lower Wharf is busy enough already. The access is terrible, it’s very narrow and there’s a blind bend.”

Boaters have also expressed concern at the club’s plans, which involve creating a launching site at the edge of the Kennet and Avon Canal. This will result in boat owner Mark Branson losing his mooring there.

Mr Branson, 57, of Sheep Street, Devizes, said: “I’m completely happy for the canoe club to have a base but not at my expense. I have had my mooring for eight or nine years and if the Canal & River Trust are going to throw me off my mooring they should offer me a substitute.”

Carol Krebs, of Stockley, who has a boat mooring near to Mr Branson, has sent a petition to Wiltshire Council signed by 80 people objecting to the creation of a slipway at Lower Wharf. She said there are two adequate slipways at the main Wharf.

Both Ms Krebs and Mr Branson are concerned that the work to the canal bank will destroy the water vole habitat.

Mark Bouch, vice-chairman of Devizes Canoe Club, said the club believes the sight lines from Lower Wharf on to Northgate Street are navigable with or without a trailer. He said that at peak times the club’s two trailers would be moved in and out one day a week.

He said: “There will be four parking spaces for the club. The assumption is the vast majority of members will store their boats at the site and use a public car park. We are not proposing to create a slipway, but a launching point. There’s no intention of the canoe club doing anything that is contrary to wildlife.”

Devizes Town Council’s planning committee deferred making a decision two weeks ago after hearing residents’ concerns and asked for further information about the traffic management plan.

The town council’s planning committee met on Tuesday night and said they were satisfied with the plan and made no objections.

Councillor Sue Evans, also a Wiltshire councillor, said: “I feel if the canoe club and the residents work together I am sure they can resolve the concerns.”

The plan will be decided by Wiltshire Council.

A Canal & River Trust spokesman, said: “We do understand Mr Branson’s concerns. However, under the terms of his 12-month contract for the mooring there is no automatic right of renewal and from time to time we do have to make changes.

“We’ve offered Mr Branson an alternative mooring. While the cost of this is higher than what he currently pays, it is consistent with prices along the Kennet & Avon. We’ve also offered a discount for the first year, should he choose to take up the option.

“It’s always a difficult decision not to renew a mooring. However in this instance, given the potential benefits of having a purpose built publically accessible canoeing facility in the area, we feel we have got the balance right.”

Comments (5)

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10:58pm Mon 7 Jul 14

cover up says...

The residents of Dundas Court & Cyprus Terrace in Devizes who are the most effected by this application have not be honestly consulted and 'strangely keep in the dark about important meetings that involve this application.
The residents have nobody to up for them at these meetings and therefore this application appears to have been allowed to 'slip' past the checks and balances that are supposed to protect Tax-Paying residents from being railroaded by applications such as this one.
The residents have valid and fully justified concerns over serious safety aspects of the application.

The Canoe Club (who interestingly seem to be fully informed about everything and consequently one step ahead of the residents) have failed to provide any kind of satisfactory evidence to support the application and answer fully the questions and concerns over road safety and quality of life raised regarding the application.

Also questions remain unanswered as to the 'true' long-term impact on the safety and quality of life of the residents in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development.

Far too many serious issues have been passed over, by Devizes Town Council regarding the Assizes Court Development and the future of the former Merrits Garage site which has vehicular access less than 10 metres from Dundas Court's front doors?

Any proposed future development to this site will 100% be responsible for a large amount of traffic that already has permission for access granted.

The residents concerns over the unknown future of both sites (and the traffic increase this will inevitably bring to a currently very quiet Private Road) have been 100% disregarded.

Most people would suppose and expect that the Town Council should be fully investigating these matters and have had some kind of meaningful dialogue with residents before Mr Fisher (Devizes town clerk) declared the matter closed?

Other (fully) unanswered questions also surround how the Canoe Club has managed to procure (FREE OF CHARGE) a valuable piece of land from Wiltshire Council with such speed?

Certainly this 'asset transfer' was done without any consultation of residents and seemingly without much consideration of the impact on the residential area affected by such a 'generous' donation..

When Skateboarders from Council Houses asked for a Skateboard Park the process took Years to get sorted.. However the Canoe Club has seemingly wrapped up some Free Land and Large Financial Donations in the blink of an eye..

Seeming to prove that the 'posh' sport of Canoeing wins out over Skateboarding hands down in the view of Devizes Town Council.

Thanks to Town Clerk Simon Fisher's statement that the 'decision is already made' the residents of both adjacent addresses are now being forced to take Legal Advice in an attempt to halt, what already seems to most as ' Done Deal'?

Most of the residents are elderly and retired individuals who are the very people that deserve to be honestly and correctly served and represented by their elected Council Officials. However sadly it appears that the voices of the 'actual' residents of Devizes and their wishes are being sadly disregarded.

Other far more sensible and suitable routes for the Canoe Club already exist, but again sadly Devizes Council has disregarded these and allowed this application to move through (with the Council's blessing) towards completion?
The residents of Dundas Court & Cyprus Terrace in Devizes who are the most effected by this application have not be honestly consulted and 'strangely keep in the dark about important meetings that involve this application. The residents have nobody to up for them at these meetings and therefore this application appears to have been allowed to 'slip' past the checks and balances that are supposed to protect Tax-Paying residents from being railroaded by applications such as this one. The residents have valid and fully justified concerns over serious safety aspects of the application. The Canoe Club (who interestingly seem to be fully informed about everything and consequently one step ahead of the residents) have failed to provide any kind of satisfactory evidence to support the application and answer fully the questions and concerns over road safety and quality of life raised regarding the application. Also questions remain unanswered as to the 'true' long-term impact on the safety and quality of life of the residents in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development. Far too many serious issues have been passed over, by Devizes Town Council regarding the Assizes Court Development and the future of the former Merrits Garage site which has vehicular access less than 10 metres from Dundas Court's front doors? Any proposed future development to this site will 100% be responsible for a large amount of traffic that already has permission for access granted. The residents concerns over the unknown future of both sites (and the traffic increase this will inevitably bring to a currently very quiet Private Road) have been 100% disregarded. Most people would suppose and expect that the Town Council should be fully investigating these matters and have had some kind of meaningful dialogue with residents before Mr Fisher (Devizes town clerk) declared the matter closed? Other (fully) unanswered questions also surround how the Canoe Club has managed to procure (FREE OF CHARGE) a valuable piece of land from Wiltshire Council with such speed? Certainly this 'asset transfer' was done without any consultation of residents and seemingly without much consideration of the impact on the residential area affected by such a 'generous' donation.. When Skateboarders from Council Houses asked for a Skateboard Park the process took Years to get sorted.. However the Canoe Club has seemingly wrapped up some Free Land and Large Financial Donations in the blink of an eye.. Seeming to prove that the 'posh' sport of Canoeing wins out over Skateboarding hands down in the view of Devizes Town Council. Thanks to Town Clerk Simon Fisher's statement that the 'decision is already made' the residents of both adjacent addresses are now being forced to take Legal Advice in an attempt to halt, what already seems to most as ' Done Deal'? Most of the residents are elderly and retired individuals who are the very people that deserve to be honestly and correctly served and represented by their elected Council Officials. However sadly it appears that the voices of the 'actual' residents of Devizes and their wishes are being sadly disregarded. Other far more sensible and suitable routes for the Canoe Club already exist, but again sadly Devizes Council has disregarded these and allowed this application to move through (with the Council's blessing) towards completion? cover up
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Cucumber says...

Cover Up...needs to shut up. What a load of rubbish. If you are going to complain about this proposal then you should get your facts right. There are far too many assumptions and generalizations. Also, if so many residents are upset, then why did only two residents turn up for the planning meetings? That' right, could not be bothered. Easier to moan on the G&H website.

Canoeing is not just for posh people it's for all ages, colours, and backgrounds. I can vouch for this being from a poor minority background, and found it to be a great experience.

This proposal is a great idea especially with the Canoeing history in the town. You may of heard of the Devizes to Westminster Race!!!
Cover Up...needs to shut up. What a load of rubbish. If you are going to complain about this proposal then you should get your facts right. There are far too many assumptions and generalizations. Also, if so many residents are upset, then why did only two residents turn up for the planning meetings? That' right, could not be bothered. Easier to moan on the G&H website. Canoeing is not just for posh people it's for all ages, colours, and backgrounds. I can vouch for this being from a poor minority background, and found it to be a great experience. This proposal is a great idea especially with the Canoeing history in the town. You may of heard of the Devizes to Westminster Race!!! Cucumber
  • Score: 1

1:47pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Don Jones says...

The Canoe Club have held two public meetings to outline their plans. Ithink they've been very open about their plans.
The Canoe Club have held two public meetings to outline their plans. Ithink they've been very open about their plans. Don Jones
  • Score: 0

7:18pm Mon 21 Jul 14

cover up says...

@ Cucumber.
I have a feeling that perhaps it is you that should get your facts rights, before sticking your (unwanted) 5 pence in to this debate..

The reason only 2 residents turned up to the Council Meetings is that they were the only 2 that were aware the meeting was even taking place.

So well covered up were the proceedings that it was only by chance the information found its way to any residents.

This would suggest that everything has been 'fast-tracked' and residents were never supposed to know about it at all.

Even our own Councillor Sue Evans has failed to keep residents informed and failed to even speak up on behalf of residents at recent (undisclosed) Council Meetings.

Get you facts straight before you start 'mouthing' off about who can be bothered about what.

Your statement 'Canoeing is not just for posh people it's for all ages, colours, and backgrounds. I can vouch for this being from a poor minority background, and found it to be a great experience'..
Is exactly the sort of 'misinformation' that is allowing this unwanted application to receive so much unwarranted support.

So Cucumber if you wish t discuss this matter further I live at 4 Cyprus Terrace Devizes.. Not Posh, but all we could afford.
@ Cucumber. I have a feeling that perhaps it is you that should get your facts rights, before sticking your (unwanted) 5 pence in to this debate.. The reason only 2 residents turned up to the Council Meetings is that they were the only 2 that were aware the meeting was even taking place. So well covered up were the proceedings that it was only by chance the information found its way to any residents. This would suggest that everything has been 'fast-tracked' and residents were never supposed to know about it at all. Even our own Councillor Sue Evans has failed to keep residents informed and failed to even speak up on behalf of residents at recent (undisclosed) Council Meetings. Get you facts straight before you start 'mouthing' off about who can be bothered about what. Your statement 'Canoeing is not just for posh people it's for all ages, colours, and backgrounds. I can vouch for this being from a poor minority background, and found it to be a great experience'.. Is exactly the sort of 'misinformation' that is allowing this unwanted application to receive so much unwarranted support. So Cucumber if you wish t discuss this matter further I live at 4 Cyprus Terrace Devizes.. Not Posh, but all we could afford. cover up
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Mon 21 Jul 14

cover up says...

Don Jones wrote:
The Canoe Club have held two public meetings to outline their plans. Ithink they've been very open about their plans.
If only the Canoe Club had thought invite any residents to those meetings?

One elderly resident did attend and was talked down when he made his feeling known...............
.....
[quote][p][bold]Don Jones[/bold] wrote: The Canoe Club have held two public meetings to outline their plans. Ithink they've been very open about their plans.[/p][/quote]If only the Canoe Club had thought invite any residents to those meetings? One elderly resident did attend and was talked down when he made his feeling known............... ..... cover up
  • Score: 0

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