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New boat maintenance facility proposed

A boost to the number of canal boats passing through Newbury could be on the cards if plans for a new maintenance facility in the Town are approved.

Proposals have been put forward by David Lane to erect workshops and a dwelling on the site to serve a family run canal boat maintenance/build facility on Island East of Mill Lane.

It is intended to keep the majority of the established trees on the site as these will shade the buildings and also help stabilise the bank. Meanwhile the design is intended to reflect the cedar cladding which is incorporated into the new Newbury Canoe Club House.

Backing for the new scheme has been received from the neighbouring Newbury Boat Company.

David Fearnley said: "There is a recognised need for the the facilities that would be offered. We understand Mr Lane proposes to offer a variety of repair work on boats, including structural steel work that isn't offered at the existing Newbury Dry Dock, which primarily offers hull blacking for boats. There is a growing number of older and historic boats on the waterways that, with maintenance, can be kept in good order for many years to come."

Paul Diprose added: "I own the Fuel boat that operates between Reading and Devizes, and after hearing about the plans Mr Lane is proposing I think this would be a brilliant idea for the Canal. As a small business owner I think having this kind of facility will encourage more boaters to the Kennet & Avon Canal, which In turn will boost the businesses along this stretch, as well as encourage more visitors to the Newbury and surrounding areas."

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