The Dry Dock has been deliberately made commercially unviable.
There has never been any valid reason or need to modify the dry dock. Repairing the Grade II listed dry dock “like-for-like” would have been cost effective and quick. It would have also been acceptable from an operational and heritage point of view.
So at first glance it is difficult to see why any commercial landlord would spend money on anything which was unnecessary, unsafe or unlawful.
The CRT are not ‘any commercial landlord’ they are a Government Quango mainly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
As the Government owned navigation authority, CRT has been entrusted with the guardianship of one of the largest state owned UK property and land portfolios. Much of this immense property and land portfolio has no connection to the canal system. However, it does make CRT a very large commercial landlord and commercial property developer.
CRT is therefore funded entirely by the tax payer. It’s income is directly from (DEFRA), the income stream from the leasing (and sale) of government property and the taxation raised as the state navigation authority.
CRT have a complete monopoly on every aspect of the canal system but as a Government Quango they effectively answer to nobody. Their management style is comparable to that of the Post Office sub-postmasters scandal.
The location of Taylor’s Boatyard makes it a very valuable development site. Much of the area surrounding the boatyard has already been built on with the canal and river trust’s multi-million pound developments.
When the Tower Wharf Scheme was first proposed by the canal and river trust, then called British Waterways, they planned for half of the historic boatyard site to be offices and the remaining part family houses. The loss of the boatyard was unacceptable to many and a campaign began to save it.
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