Being a Kennet and Avon towpath commuter l have been interested to see excavation work now happening almost down to the canal edge.
This is on the old MOD Warminster Road site which is rapidly being turned into a residential housing development – called Holburne Park – by Hardrock Developments Ltd.
I wondered whether this activity by the K & A meant the developers were going to bridge the canal at this point.
Something that would be of interest to the Cleveland Pools Trust as their original Georgian lido – that they still hope to restore – could then be in reach of a whole new community of local people.
The Trust are waiting for news of a Heritage Lottery Fund application to secure funds to do the job.
In the meantime, they can see how a new bridge could bring new people within reach. They could then cross the rail footbridge and access the Lido where – hopefully – restoration work could get underway soon.
The developers have already told Bath Newseum that the canal-side work ‘is just the outfall which is the controlled surface water drainage into the canal,’ according to a spokesperson.
I have pressed the matter further – in the interests of the Cleveland Pools Trust – and have had the following reply from Francis Firmstone who is director of Hardrock Developments.’
“There is already a public right of way over the existing footbridge to the east of Holburne Park, which runs alongside the development and connects to Warminster Road, which will remain.
“As part of our planning permission, we are also providing funding for a second bridge over the canal to the West of the development, which would also give public access through Holburne Park.
We see this as a major benefit for both residents and the general public and are keen to make it happen.
However, we are currently waiting for Network Rail to finish their electrification works before we can enter into negotiations with them as some of their land will be needed if the bridge is to meet the local authority’s access requirements.”
Could be a long wait.