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Crown Wharf, Stone: Planning Protection

Crown Wharf, Stone – Trent & Mersey Canal

Crown Wharf on the Trent & Mersey Canal in Stone will have a development good for heritage and the community, thanks to our lobbying.

It is one of the few sites left along the canal not sold for private residential development. Crown Wharf was first put up for sale by British Waterways in the early 2000s. IWA North Staffordshire & South Cheshire Branch worked with Stone Town Council on ideas for the site. We lobbied for a development that was sensitive to both the heritage of the canal as well as to the needs of the local community.

In 2013 the Branch opposed a planning application at the site. The scheme did not give community access or take into account the adjacent historic boatyard. Consequently, the application was refused by the local authority and the developers withdrew their interest.

Into the frame stepped Joule’s, a name long-associated with brewing in Stone. Working with the town council, the company submitted a bid for a flagship pub, heritage centre and theatre. Above all, it will enable people to enjoy the canal and its history.

In 2017 Joule’s was successful in acquiring the site from the Canal & River Trust and the design evolved with their help. This included making sure the scale, height and density complemented and enhanced the visual setting of the canal corridor. In addition, this will make sure the development respects structures and features of historic value.

The local community and IWA Branch supported the proposals, approved by the borough planning committee. The pub opened in July 2021, after delays caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns, and it is now the flagship pub for Joules Brewery, back in the town where the brewery has its origins. The community theatre and a heritage centre, provided as shell buildings by the brewery for the community groups that will use them, are both ongoing projects.

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