Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

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superman
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Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by superman » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:49 pm

http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/sup ... /V2111/FUL
Many of you will remember a year ago we asked for support in objecting to the granting of an abstraction licence to a hydro scheme proposed to be built adjacent to Abingdon Weir. Thanks to all the objectors (58) many of whom from this site we were able to get the EA to impose the following condition on the licence

The licence holder shall not abstract water until
1 An agreement between the licence holder, Kingfisher Canoe Club and Pathfinders Youth Canoe Club is entered intoto ensure that there is sufficient flow over the weirand through the sluice gatesat Abingdon Weir for the clubs` purposes
2 The licence holder has provided a copy of that agreement as executed , to the agency.

We have had meetings with the scheme and they have come up with a proposal involving a button scheme to open a sluice gate and give priority of use to the canoeists over the hydro. This MAY be able to fulfil the above conditions but it is far from certain and will require the unequivocal support of the EA for this to happen. Consequently no agreement is in place.
The Hydro Scheme has nevertheless gone ahead and applied for planning permission (without the EA required agrremen tin place). We therfore have no option but to OBJECT to their application on the grounds that the EA condition not being in place, the proposed development will destroy the whitewater use of the weir.

We were not informed of the decision to apply for planning permission and only became aware of it at the end of last week. The absolute deadline for the receipt of objections/comments ids DECEMBER 5th but earlier response is beneficial.

In order to maintain the use of Abingdon Weir for whitewater kaying (at least aforty year history of this) we would ask for your support in this. Please send your comments and use the word OBJECT (so that it is counted as an objection not merely a comment)
to the link on the planning application website at the head of this post.
You can also email it to planning@whitehorsedc.gov.uk
or write to
David Rothery Case Officer
Planning Dept
Vale of White Horse District Council
Abbey House
Abbey Close
Abingdon OX14 3JE
Oxon
REMEMBER All submissions MUST be received BEFORE DECEMBER 5th

This is not only a local issue but one that is becoming important nationally and how this goescould determine the fate of schemes in other areas.
You don`t have to write a lot, but all your help would be appreciated. If you need more info or want to contact me you are welcome davidsurman@hotmail.com
Thanks in advance
D

chriscw
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by chriscw » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:04 pm

What keyword do we need to include to support the scheme? I ask merely for information. I am not sure I do support it, on the other hand we ought to be using renewable energy and the Thames has a history of being used to some extent to power mills in the past as do many rivers.

There is supposed to be a requirement for outflows from this kind of site to have recreational potential, perhaps this is an additional avenue to the ability to divert he flow back to the existing feature. Not ADDITIONAL not alternative!
Chris Clarke-Williams
Location Basingstoke

Paddling Interests:
Touring, Coaching Beginners (I am an L2K), Surf White water trips, Weir Play (I'm not good enough to put freestyle!)

superman
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Location: Oxford

Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by superman » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:44 pm

The issue is not whether you are pro or anti hydro. The point is that if a hydro is to be built it should not be detrimental to the environment nor to the recreational activities that have been carried on for around forty years and through which the local community has benefitted. Furthermore if the EA impose a condition to this effect in their abstraction licence, the hydro scheme should prove they can deliver the required condition (I.Ethe lowering of the flow will not affect the club`s activities see my previous post). If there is not absolute clarity backed up by written guarantee from relevant parties then we as clubs must object to any request for planning permission. Support from the wider paddling community is obviously welcomed as decisions in this case could be instrumental in determining the many future hydro schemes in the pipeline.

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iainporter
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by iainporter » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:40 pm

Objection sent.

(After all, I need to practice to avoid coming second from last in the blastathon again next year)

Iain

superman
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by superman » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:42 pm

Thanks Iain

superman
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by superman » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:47 pm

Consultation closes THIS WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5th

edhunter
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by edhunter » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:30 pm

Any chance you can post up a sample letter that I can paraphrase?

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The Drowned Fish
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by The Drowned Fish » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:32 pm

Here is a link to my objection letter. It was written in haste so don't judge me on it but feel free to use it for inspiration.

http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/sup ... C0424769BA

Cheers
Simon

superman
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by superman » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:37 pm

Thanks to all who wrote to the council as part of their consultation.
The state of play at present is that the Hydro Scheme have withdrawn their planning application for the time being. Their reasons are stated on www.abingdonhydro.org.uk In summary there were an umber of questions from the planners mainly re construction, access etc that they felt unable to answer at present. They plan to resubmit in the future when they have taken on board the planners and hopefully our concerns.
Will keep all posted .

thefryers
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by thefryers » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:10 pm

Summary
In our view, the claims the anglers make are speculative, with little evidence to support them. They blame the EA for charging for rod licences but not spending the money on research, and they want hydro developers to pay for more research before the EA gives them a licence. But research is very problematic. Not only are there big natural variations from year to year, there are long term effects of climate change, invasive species, pollution, changes of use, etc. With the amount of data that can realistically be collected on fish behaviour, it would be virtually impossible to unravel all these effects, let alone prove that any effect, good or bad, was caused specifically by hydro developments.
We are disappointed that the Angling Trust is so negative. They issue general condemnations and urge their members to protest against any development, regardless of its merits. In effect they want us to prove that the technology is safe for fish before we are allowed to use it. To which we could reply that they should prove that angling is safe for fish!
Just flicking through the web site for the hydro project and the above section from the "fish" page made me laugh. Seems that the Angling Trust don't like more than just canoeing!

Cheers,

Graeme

SimonMW
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Re: Abingdon Weir Hydro- AGAIN!!

Post by SimonMW » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:47 pm

The AT do object to pretty much anything. I don't think Hydro is always a bad thing. The AT objected to the planned hydro at Pershore weir saying that it would restrict flow. In reality the plan was (though haven't herd much recently, but this next bit had the full support of the council) to develop one of the channels into a permanent short white water course for kayakers etc to practice on in conjunction with the hydro scheme.

More developments like this around the country, turning many of the dangerous weirs into safer play spots for recreation would be very welcome indeed, especially if it can be combined with hydro. IMHO.

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