Subject: Friends of Regent's Canal - Grim News from the North.

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week I heard some disturbing news that a High Court judge had rubbished a council policy to protect historic wharves in Leeds. This is a kick in the teeth for our growing campaigns to shift traffic from road to water (or rail) and it is a devastating blow to future generations who might have been wishing for a reduction in avoidable HGV journeys.

According to a recent report, these wharves are deemed to be economically unviable. In other words, the use of the canal for transportation is secondary to the use of the canal as an ornamental water feature that will help property prices to spiral in the vicinity.

For details, please visit

I have yet to study the details of this case - and I am unfamiliar with this site or its history - but my first impressions are that the judge's decision makes a mockery of democracy and town planning and it gives a green light to hit-and-run property development at the expense of everybody else's quality of life in the long term. If the Leeds City Council's policies do not hold water then what hope is there for the enforcement of the waterway policies in the London Plan?

If you are concerned about any of these issues then please spread the word and please respond with any comments that you feel might be helpful. This is more than just a canal issue; it represents a breakdown in trust at every level.

On a more positive note, I am pleased to announce that we have helped to organise a water freight presentation at the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation. This is happening on 16th October and you will find details on the following web page.

Please make an effort to attend this event if you are interested in this subject.

Best wishes,

Ian Shacklock
Chair, Friends of Regent's Canal

4th October 2013

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