Draft BaNES Water Space Study published – the Council invites you to comment by 22nd May

On 13th April 2017, BaNES Council published the draft Water Space Study, relating mainly to the River Avon but also to the K&A Canal. Last year, liveaboard boaters were among the groups who took part in surveys, meetings and focus groups to inform the study. The Council wants your comments. You can fill in an online survey here


You can also send comments to riveravon@bathnes.gov.uk The Project Coordinator is Cleo Newcombe-Jones, email cleo_newcombe-jones@bathnes.gov.uk, tel 01225 477617.

Significantly, the Water Space Study is silent on whether BaNES Council plans to become the navigation authority for the River Avon upstream of Bath bottom lock (lock 7). In 2013 the Council commissioned a report into the feasibility of becoming the navigation authority from Clarke Wilmott, which it refused to release in response to a Freedom of Information request on the grounds that the document was legally privileged. The other significant revelation is that British Waterways Marinas Limited (BWML) which runs Bath Marina, is likely to seek planning consent for a marina on land at Bathampton.

BaNES Council says: “We want your views on the project ideas included –and we want to know if you would like to make some of these projects happen. We are keen to hear which projects people think would make the greatest impact to improve the waterways for people and wildlife.

We hope members of the local community will work with us to revitalise the waterways in Bath Many of these will depend on support from the community so it’s important we know which projects local people would like public, private and voluntary sector partners to deliver.

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 Kennet & Avon Canal waterways, for people and nature.

The WaterSpace 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.

The project ideas include:

The development of the River Avon Park – connecting people with riverside green spaces by creating a new city park.

Improved slipways, moorings and related boating facilities.

Improvements to the waterways.

Projects to re-wild the river and improve habitats for species like otters and bats.

River taxi and arts projects.

The study has five aims:

1. Make best use of the partners’ assets and land ownership to enhance the waterways, taking a partnership approach and seeking for multi-benefits from projects.

2. Improve the district’s mooring offer whilst safeguarding navigation.

3. Realise opportunities from development and regeneration to benefit both the waterways and the quality of new development.

4. Enhance the environmental (including ecology, amenity and water quality) value of the waterways, including retaining dark corridors for wildlife.

5. Protect and improve opportunities for both land and water based leisure and recreation.”

You can read and download the Executive Summary, the full Water Space Study in two parts and the 12 Appendices here


The proposals most relevant to liveaboard boaters are:

Boaters’ survey results, page 20.

Moorings and Navigation report, pages 51, 74 and 75.

Places where sites for new moorings and facilities have been identified, pages 84, 85, 86, and 87.

Floating markets, page 88.

Some of the location specific proposals include moorings, eg Pulteney Bridge and Parade Gardens, Bath Quays, pages 107, 108, 112, 113 and 120.

Proposals to reconfigure existing moorings at Bath Marina, page 125.

Mead Lane moorings and parking restrictions, page 130.

New moorings possible at Wessex water site, Saltford and Broadmead peninsula, pages 131 and 132.

See also