Bath Water Space project launch

Bath’s Water Space project has officially launched its plans to revitalise the river and canals in the Bath area.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has for the past year been working with the Environment Agency, the Canal and & River Trust and Wessex Water to identify opportunities to deliver enhancements to the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal (Dundas Aqueduct to Bath to Hanham Lock).

kennet and avon canal
The canal towpath through Bath’s Sydney Gardens.

The River Avon corridor is undergoing significant redevelopment of brownfield sites and is the focus for major new development in Bath. With this comes real opportunities to revitalise both the River Avon and Kennett & Avon Canal waterways, for people and nature.

The Water Space project has gathered data, mapped information, and generated ideas to work with the community and public, private and voluntary bodies to identify 35 projects and project ideas to revitalise the waterways.

Consultation with local groups on priority projects was carried out by the Water Space project earlier this year.

The River Avon

Cllr Martin Veal, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are taking a strong partnership approach to developing our waterways. The Water Space project has developed an evidence-based plan for investment in 16 miles of waterway along the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal.

It has identified opportunities to improve green spaces and parks, enhance biodiversity, create moorings, realise safe access for sport and leisure and improve public spaces and paths.

The views of residents have been listened to both during and since the consultation on this document and the updated proposals seek to reflect these.  Funding for a number of projects has already been secured and the Water Space team are now working to deliver an investment plan.”

The Water Space Project was the overall winner at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West Regional Awards for Planning Excellence, the ceremony took place at the Assembly Rooms in Bath on Wednesday, June 7. The project was also recognised as one of the top 8 projects nationally in planning for the natural environment.


RTPI South West Chair, David Lowin said: “The Water Space Project is an excellent example of partnership working to realise the potential for future investment along these waterways whilst balancing economic and environmental issues. An impressive feature is the extensive consultation undertaken, in particular with the boating community. This study, and its evidence base, will be a significant factor in the establishment of future planning policies and the determination of planning applications in and around the city of Bath.”


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1 Comment

  1. Nice to see years of nagging, pleading, cajoling and shouting coming together. My message to Bath & NE Somerset is:
    “Now you have recognised the importance of your great River Avon, enjoy it”
    Kind regards
    Dave Laming
    Your ex River Champion.

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