River Regeneration Trust is launched to encourage connection between community and river in Bath and Keynsham
A new group has been launched to spearhead environmentally-friendly development along the River Avon through the Bath area.
Former Bristol Rovers chairman Geoff Dunford has been elected chairman of the River Regeneration Trust, which aims to reverse what campaigners are calling 50 years of neglect.
Its formation follows work by the River Corridor Group, a task force of volunteer experts who have compiled a dossier for Bath and North East Somerset Council suggesting new ways of breathing life into the Avon, with ideas from riverside bars to hydro-electricity generation.
The inaugural meeting of the river trust took place last week, with Mr Dunford, who remains a Rovers director and chairs the Bristol-based training and recruitment company N-Gaged, saying he wants it to become a catalyst for development.
Limited Deal. All day wedding photography only £545.00View details
All day wedding photography only £545.00
From Bridal preparations to first dance.
250+ Hi Res images on disc with full printing rights.
Professional photography at affordable prices.
Free no obligation consultations.
Offer subject to availability.
Book before 31st May 2013.
Available in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
Contact: 01225 439257
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
“It’s been created to make things happen. I like to get things done.”
He lives in Keynsham, which he says has never made a proper connection with the river.
His group aims to bring back a river-based, sustainable way of life along a 20-mile stretch of the Avon from Dundas Wharf on the Kennet and Avon canal at Monkton Combe to Hanham Lock.
He said: “Town planning in the UK does not compare well to the rest of Europe. As an example, the loss of community along our river is something we should be ashamed of. This trust and its plans embody hope for a community connection to the river for the people living in and around it.”
The trust wants to work with the public, private and voluntary sectors to secure new homes, jobs and training, energy and waste management schemes, sustainable transport links and leisure amenities.
Mr Dunford said: “We want to assist landowners and stakeholders to ensure that their ambitions fit in with the thinking of the council. We can help mould their ideas.”
Also on board are council river champion Dave Laming, politicians Sarah Bevan, Bryan Chalker and Ben Stevens; architect Philip Challinor; lock-keeper Trevor Skoyles; and business representatives Jeremy Douch, Nikki Wood and James Hurley.
Mr Laming said: “Two years ago we identified the sad state of our river. Now we have put a team together under the chairmanship of Geoff Dunford to regenerate this great asset for the people of Bath and north east Somerset.”