Waterways of Stoke-on-Trent - Burslem
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Restoring the Burslem Branch Canal
into the possibility of restoring the old Burslem Branch Canal started in late
1996 and, following the public launch of the Burslem Port Project in 1998 plans
are now being developed.
For more information contact: David Dumbelton (Project officer), Burslem port Project, 32 The Lea, Trentham, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 8DY. Tel: 01782 641765 email: David Dumbelton
Plan of the development of "Burslem
1 Canal Route
Much of the line of the original canal will be restored, deviating only slightly to avoid underground sewers installed since the canal breach and in making a connection with a new length of waterway. There will be a broadening of the old waterway opposite the 'bakery buildings' to create a mooring basin. There will also be a new waterway within the trough of the now abandoned drainage ditch; this will provide short-term visitor moorings.
2 The Mersey Weaver Wharf and Warehouse
The warehouse will be restored and a new building constructed alongside it, within the wharf area. Together, these will form a youth hostel / budget hotel with bedroom accommodation in the new block and service facilities such as café, bar, meeting rooms etc. in the warehouse. These warehouse facilities will also be open for use by the community and visitors.
In the northerly part of the wharf the keeper's house will be used for residential purposes by the hostel/hotel manager and new buildings will be used for waterways based operations such as day boats, trip boats, "Beatrice" children's boat and for a waterway craft shop.
The open wharf area will be available for general public use with paved areas, seating and the café - beside the restored warehouse dock.
A car parking area will be located to the south of the wharf site and a new road brisge connecting with Middleport will be constructed from Luke Street, it is not planned that this will be a through route to Burslem.
The footbridge from Dimsdale Street will be built.
3 The Anderton Wharf
This will be redeveloped as an employment area with new light industrial units alongside the restored canal, which will stop slightly short of its original terminus. These buildings and the waterway will be used exclusively as a centre for boat building, decoration and repair - an industry already significant in North Staffordshire.
4 The Gas Land
The area at the bottom of Navigation Road will also be an employment area, providing craft / light industrial units with living accommodation above. All the units will be occupied by canal arts and crafts people with such activities as fender making, joinery, soft furnishings, craft painting, etc. all supplying the local and national boating industry and the enthusiast.
5 East View
The canal embankment alongside East View will be reformed and improved, retaining many of the trees whilst giving views to the canal and into the wharf area. These landscaping improvements will continue northerly alongside the canal up to and including the Anderton Wharf area.
6 Luke Street
Alongside Luke Street and on the northern edge of the 'bakery' site there will be a new development of community facilities - such as a neighbourhood medical centre with a chemist's shop, a food and general shop, a hairdresser's and a post office.
7 The 'Bakery' Site
Most of the rest of the 'bakery' site has been identified for housing use. Developers will be invited to submit proposals for mixed residential use but with the emphasis on owner occupation and sheltered accommodation (with facilities) for ht elderly. Whilst it would be desirable to retain the older 'bakery' buildings for re-use this is not essential, providing the feeling of enclosure to the western side of the restored canal route is retained. There may be provision for a public house / restaurant in the area alongside Newport Lane bridge and the main line canal.
8 Wet Lands
At the south eastern corner of the site are natural ponds which need protection and enhancement. How this work is carried out will be the subject of discussions with the appropriate organisations. The line of the original coal railway line, with a new bridge across the canal, will form a main pedestrian route between the waterway and the open high land of Rogerson's Meadow. An interpretation centre could be provided for the benefit of visitors.
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