Stroud canal's 'missing mile' gets planning permission

The 'missing mile' in Stroud's canal network is being restored after the council's Development Control Committee granted planning permission to reinstate the section that was removed during the construction of the M5 back in the 1960s.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
The 'missing mile' of the Stroudwater Navigation canal is being restored after Stroud District Council granted planning permission this February 2024.

A mile-long section of Stroud's canal network, which was filled in during the construction of the M5 in the 1960s, is being reinstated after Stroud District Council's Development Control Committee gave it the go-ahead this February 2024.

A new canal channel from John Robinson (Westfield) Lock at Eastington will be created to connect with the recently constructed channel at the A38 roundabout, as well as a towpath; a new pedestrian bridge; a new mooring basin with space for up to 44 non-residential moorings; and a new building to house a cafe and canal basin manager's accommodation. 

The new canal diverts away from the historic route — which was built over to form the motorway junction, highway depot, A38 roundabout and link road — with the new canal route sharing the River Frome underpass under the motorway, with a dividing wall to act as a flood barrier. 

Work is due to commence later in 2024 in line with planning conditions, with a significant proportion of the works being undertaken by volunteers from Cotswold Canals Trust. 

SDC's Environment Committee vice-chair, councillor Robin Layfield, said: 'The canal restoration brings huge benefits to the district in terms of inward investment, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, and tourism. This major milestone means more people can enjoy this unique corridor of outdoor space.'

Since 2008, Stroud District Council and Cotswold Canals Trust has restored 7.5km of canal between Stroud and Stonehouse, creating tranquil walking and cycling routes that offer an alternative to the busy A419, as well as new water-based habitats for local plants and wildlife. 

The restoration project has received funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, National Highways and a variety of grants, corporate sponsorships and private donations, with key partners including Gloucestershire County Council, the Canal & River Trust, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Cotswold Boatmobility.

More on Stroud District Council

More from Outdoors