Issue date: 15th March 2013
The Government has gone on record to reassure Canal & River Trust and IWA that CRT's waterways will not be detrimentally affected by changes in the Growth & Infrastructure Bill. The statement came after a meeting between the Minister and representatives of the Trust and IWA, and followed impassioned arguments in the House of Lords from Lords Hodgson, Faulkner and Adonis.
Baroness Hanham, Minister for the Department for Communities and Local Government, acknowledged the heritage of the inland waterways and set out the protections the Government believes the waterways have outside the Bill, but declined to include an amendment proposed by Lord Hodgson on behalf of the Trust.
Commenting on the news, the Trust’s Legal Director, Nigel Johnson, said that CRT was disappointed that the Government could not support a Lords amendment to the Bill to further strengthen protection on a parallel to those enjoyed by inalienable National Trust properties, but added that CRT was "particularly grateful for the strong level of cross party support from peers, MPs and IWA. They have shown again that the waterways have friends both inside and outside Parliament who will be ready to rally to their support if they are under threat.”
See a transcript of the debate.