THE Planning Permission for the proposed Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway has been renewed for a further five years.
Though many attempts had been made over 200 years to create a waterway linking the River Great Ouse at Bedford with the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes, it was in 2001 that the present Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust was launched and a feasibility study instigated.
Since then the chosen route has been safeguarded, but the only structure built was an underpass for the waterway to take it under the new A421.
Financial constraints have prevented further building work, but the Trust's Chairman believes that within the five years there will be the first signs of construction of the Milton Keynes section of the waterway.
The Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway is a proposed linear Waterway Park, to be developed in conjunction with the Forest of Marston Vale and Milton Keynes Parks Trust. It is believed it will provide enormous benefit to the area in terms of stimulating the economy, providing people with attractive places to live and work, and improving the quality of the local environment.
The project has a 20 years timescale, with the waterway being built as funding can be found through public, business, charitable and development sources.
The two major obstacles are Brogborough Hill, with various suggestions put forward, and the MI motorway.