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Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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AXMINSTER: Councillor’s plans to restore High Street’s water feature
Thursday, 17 October 2013
A town councillor hopes to restore flowing water to the town centre’s water channel.
Councillor Roy Coombs says that restoring water to the channel would bring “an extra dimension” to the town centre and be of interest to visitors.
He was hoping that a heritage working group would be given formal clearance to take on the project when Honiton Town Council met yesterday evening as Pulman’s View went to press.
He said it is too early to say how much it would cost to restore flowing water, but said it would not be as simple as just turning on a tap.
Devon County Council has already done some work on an iron channel in New Street to the roundabout, and one culvert has also been constructed.
But there are known blockages and, for example, a culvert under Pottery Close would also have to be constructed.
Councillor Coombs said the water channel was created many years ago when properties did not have mains drainage, so provided a source of water.
He added: “They have been obsolete since mains water emerged, but I think it [restoring flowing water] would be something that would interest visitors and bring an extra dimension to the town centre.
“And it is also part of our history.”
He said that water was still flowing in the channels in the 1970s and possibly later, and that a feasibility study to restore flowing water was paid for by the town council a few years ago.
But other priorities emerged and it was only recently he decided to revisit the matter.
A working group was set up by Honiton Town Council in January to try to find money to repair a historic tollgate. But the group was put on the backburner until councillor Roy Coombs raised the matter at a recent meeting.
He proposed that the tollgate working group should consider all heritage issues, including the restoration of flowing water to the town’s water channel and finding money for the restoration of Higher Glen wild garden.
Draft minutes from a policy committee meeting on September 30th said: “Councillor Coombs is to work with any others interested, and they identify funding for these projects with the proviso that they do this work without involving town council staff.
“The first task should be to identify the people who would be prepared to help and provide the knowledge and expertise from within the community.”
The proposal gained unanimous support and Councillor Coombs hoped that the proposal would be formalised by full council last evening.
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