Route of the Canal into Hereford City
Starting from the North, the historic line of the Canal runs parallel to the Sutton St Nicholas Road and crosses under the A4103 Roman Road (where the former Hereford & Worcester County Council built a new bridge for the Canal in 1995). A little further the Aylestone Park Project Site is reached.
After a short infilled section through Holmer Trading Estate, Aylestone Tunnel takes the Canal under the main Newport to Shrewsbury/Worcester railway line.
Emerging from the tunnel, the restored canal will need to deviate along a former railway siding from its original line to avoid a large factory, and then to pass around the Hereford Retail Park (where a new footbridge and new road bridge were built to accommodate the future line of the Canal in 2000).
The historic line is regained just before the Harper’s Site. Widemarsh Canal bridge is next and, shortly afterwards, the Canal will terminate in a New Hereford Basin.
Aylestone Park - A quick summary......
Canal restoration by the Trust in Hereford began in earnest in August 2002 following the acquisition of the Aylestone Park site by Herefordshire Council, and the formation of a partnership between the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust, Herefordshire Council and The Aylestone Park Association.
The plan was to develop the site to provide much needed sports and recreational facilities, and to restore the quarter mile section of the canal running along the northern boundary of the park.
The Trust’s initial intention was to clear the line of the canal of 100 years of rubbish and undergrowth, and to open up the towpath as part of the new facilities offered by the park. Trust volunteers, supported by the Waterways Recovery Group managed much work to clear the towpath.
Further work to restore the canal at Aylestone Park followed - click for more details.
Holmer Trading Estate
A major new development proposal in Hereford is to see one of the most difficult sections of the Herefordshire & Gloucestershire Canal restored as an integral part of the development scheme.
This will see ¼ mile of the Canal restored right up to Aylestone Park and include the transfer to the Canal Trust of the restored Canal and, in addition, the ¼ mile tunnel under Aylestone Hill.
A draft plan produced in 2007 showing how the Holmer site could be developed for industrial and residential needs whilst providing for enhancement of the Canal.
Not only will the proposals make a huge improvement to the area but they also provide a much improved quality of employment space to replace what already exists on the site, alongside the proposed imaginative waterside residential homes.
Planning consent for the redevelopment of Holmer Trading Estate in Hereford has been granted on appeal, and includes an undertaking for restoration of a further section of the canal....
Canal Restoration Wins Planning Appeal for Trading Estate
A recent Planning Application for the redevelopment of the Holmer Trading Estate, Hereford, which included plans to restore a further section of the Hereford and Gloucester Canal, including proposals for 115 new homes, together with a small convenience store, in addition to considerable local employment and retail floor space, was turned down by Herefordshire Council.
As part of the redevelopment of the site, the developer had agreed to restore the adjacent section of the Hereford and Gloucester Canal, and to transfer freehold of the Canal and Aylestone Tunnel to the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust.
However, the developers took the Application to an Appeal. As a result, the decision has been reversed. In his summing up of the case, the Planning Inspector said ....
“… the likely benefits associated with the re-opening of the Canal would be substantial. It seems to me that this is an important section of the Canal in terms of achieving the Unitary Development Plans long-term restoration aims.” ... “Restoration of the length of Canal indicated in the Obligation would add substantially to the significance of the Canal as a feature within the City. In my judgement, the benefit of the scheme to the restoration of the Canal is sufficient to tip the balance in favour of allowing the Appeal....”
It seems very clear that the proposed restoration of the Hereford and Gloucester Canal was crucial to the Inspector, and persuaded him, on balance, to grant the Appeal.
Back to top
Hereford Retail Park
Here the Canal corridor takes a detour from its historical line and a channel around the car park of the retail park marks the new route.
Back to top
The Harper’s Site
Canal Trust Members may well recall that we own a section of the Canal line behind the new houses on Newtown Road running adjacent to Burcott Road, Hereford. This was secured as part of that housing development, and in 2010 we undertook some initial clearance there to tidy things up.
At the time we acquired the site there was a compound at each end, one by Widemarsh Canal Bridge and the other at the opposite end by the entrance to Tudors, just short of the new Farrier Way Canal Bridge that was built as part of the Hereford Retail Park development. These two sections were owned by Herefordshire Council and had various temporary structures on them and a right of way between them over our section of Canal.
As part of the developer contribution to the Canal on Newtown Road site the tenants of these compounds were relocated so that the sites could be cleared over the last couple of years prior to their transfer to us.
Earlier this summer, Herefordshire Council transferred both of these blocks of land to the Canal Trust, so that we now have a deliverable section of Canal within the City Centre.
We are currently in discussions with the Council and Herefordshire Futures as to the most opportune timing for the restoration of this section – watch this space …
Link to Photo Gallery showing scrub clearance at Burcott Road
Back to top
Close to the centre of Hereford is an area known as Edgar Street Grid, where a major redevelopment of a large area will include a new Canal Basin at its heart.
Detailed contributions have included an appraisal of the opportunities that arise from the presence of the Canal, together with what has to be achieved in order to gain maximum benefits for the City from the Canal.
The interests of both the City and the Canal are felt to be best served by a larger single Basin, rather than the three individual arms of the original terminus.
Back to top