Attempts to restore Lichfield Canal boosted as permission is granted to remove ‘big pipe’ blocking the route

A major hurdle in plans to restore the Lichfield canal is set to be overcome.

A large concrete pipe, originally installed when the old canal was abandoned and infilled in the 1960s to take residual water flows and run off from the south of Lichfield, has been obstructing the process of lining the bed of the Tamworth Road site.

The so-called 'big pipe' which has been hampering restoration efforts on the Lichfield Canal

The so-called ‘big pipe’ which has been hampering restoration efforts on the Lichfield Canal

But now Lichfield and Hatherton Canals Restoration Trust has been given consent to remove the ‘Big Pipe’ and has given notice to Staffordshire County Council to start the removal tomorrow (May 11).

The Trust’s Engineering Director Peter Buck said: “Officers and our consultants have worked tirelessly for the last three years to agree the necessary provisions for water to pass through this canal site and to get approvals to proceed, and even with this consent in place to remove the big pipe, we are still in ongoing negotiations with the Environment Agency on the issue of impounding water in this section.

“This great achievement is a significant milestone in the restoration of this section of the Lichfield Canal and with its removal the Trust volunteers can now progress the remaining canal lining along the bed of the canal which has been prevented by the pipe being in the way

“Finning CAT, the international construction plant company based in Cannock, have kindly offered to provide the equipment for the removal of the pipe.

“Our thanks go to all those volunteers for their patience struggling to restore the canal round this pipe and to all who have helped in the behind the scenes design and negotiations.”