Supplementary memorandum by British Waterways
British Waterways does not accept the characterisation
of the development and progress of the projects made by Mr Taggart
on behalf of Regeneration through Heritage in his letter to the
Committee of 28 September 2000.
British Waterways has an excellent track record
in establishing and maintaining partnerships to deliver sustainable
development. In this geographical region, there are examples at
Sheffield Basin; Clarence Dock; and Kiln Warehouse, Newark. These
projects have all involved creating sustainable uses for old buildings.
Truly sustainable development needs to be sustainable
economically, environmentally and socially. Our experience tells
as that all these elements need to be considered carefully together
before any project or scheme goes ahead. This reflects British
Waterways' role as steward and long term guarantor of the waterways
and their heritage.
Our objective for the Wakefield project is to
ensure that there is a quality scheme that protects the Grade
II* listed building and to encourage wider regeneration of the
surrounding area. We were concerned that the viability of the
proposed use of the site needed to be better understood. The partnership
needed to compare the proposed use of the site with other uses
to assess what gave it the best long term future. The local authority
agrees that regeneration of the whole site is more important than
locating the Barbara Hepworth Collection in the Warehouse. We
also have reservations about the proposed alterations to the building
and their impact on its heritage value and its visual amenity.
Our relationship with the local authority and the regional development
agency is very strong and they share our objectives. British Waterways
is making good progress with the local authority in the acquisition
of new and additional land to assist with site assembly.
Regarding the Sowerby project, the Heritage
Lottery Fund have indicated that they support the project in principle
but the grant sought is too much. We have therefore been invited
to reconsider our application and to resubmit it later. We are
looking at how the funding package can be restructured, including
contributing more of our own funds. We have approached Yorkshire
Forward, the regional development agency, for support and they
have agreed to look at the proposal. We have at all times kept
the partnership up to date with progress.
22 November 2000