Request information relating to the closure of towpath right of way in Marlow adjacent to Millbank

Mike Post made this Freedom of Information request to Environment Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Environment Agency,

I refer to the public right-of-way between the block of flats known as “Millbank”, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and the River Thames between Grid References SU8553-8608 and SU8557-8607. This is clearly shown on the Marlow, 1897 Ordnance Survey Map as “Towing Path”. This has been closed to the public for some years despite being a well-established right-of- way

Can you please inform me:
When and why this stretch of the towing path was closed to the public?
How much money was spent by the Environment Agency restoring the river bank adjoining the path?
If, when and why this stretch of river bank was sold by the Environment Agency and, if it has been sold, the sale price?

Can you please provide me with copies of all documents and correspondence since 1975 which the Environment Agency possesses relating to the above stretch of towpath and ‘Millbank’ which, I believe, was constructed in the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Yours faithfully,

Mike Post

Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

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Enquiries, Unit, Environment Agency

Dear Mike

Thank you for your information request.

For your information, I have passed your query to our local External
Relations Team (Planning and Corporate Services) for advice. They will
check whether we hold this information and they will be in touch with
you shortly.

The External Relations team have 20 working days from the date we
receive your enquiry to provide a response, and they will get this to
you as soon as possible.

Should you wish to contact them in the meantime, their details are
below. Please quote your Enquiry Ref 110222LS/03 in your correspondence
with us.

External Relations
Planning and Corporate Services
Environment Agency
Thames Region, West Area
Redkite House
Howbery Park
WALLINGFORD
OX10 8BD
Tel: 08708 506506

Kind Regards

Luke Smith
Environment Agency
National Customer Contact Centre
Sheffield
08708 506506

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National Requests, Environment Agency

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your FOI request, this is being handled under reference
NRFEB77.

We are currently working on your request and have 20 working days to
complete this, if we can provide a response sooner we will do so.

Best Regards

Jonathan Tyas

Customer Service Advisor

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Thames West, Customer Contact, Environment Agency

Dear Mr Post

Thank you for your request for information, which has been passed to this office.

I would be grateful if you could give me a telephone number so that we can discuss your enquiry with regard to the documentation you request. It would also be helpful if you could give me a convenient time to call.

With regards

Melinda Crosfield
External Relations Officer
Planning and Corporate Services
Thames West

Direct Dial : 01491 828511

Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park,
Wallingford, OX10 8BD

Commercial users of Environment Agency data and information:
Please note that as from 10 January 2011, the minimum charge for the supply and commercial use of Environment Agency data will be £60 (including VAT at 20%). We will no longer levy a fee for processing your payment.

show quoted sections

Dear Thames West, Customer Contact,

Thank you for your email. My home telephone number is 01628 484320. However, my request is quite straightforward and I would prefer the exchange to be by email.

The documentation that I should like to see is any correspondence between the Environment Agency (or its predecessor) with residents of Millbank or any company associated with Millbank in connection with the closure and sale of the stretch of towpath which abuts and which is adjacent to Millbank and which has been closed to the public for some time. This should also include correspondence relating to the first closure after residents complained about "illegal" activities on the towpath.

I should also like to see all the Environment Agency's internal correspondence, emails etc. relating to the closures.

Thank you in anticipation.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

Thames West, Customer Contact, Environment Agency

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Post

Further to your email clarifying your request for information. Please find attached my letter detailing the time likely to be taken to complete the request.

With regards

Melinda Crosfield
External Relations Officer
Planning and Corporate Services
Thames West

Direct Dial : 01491 828511

Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park,
Wallingford, OX10 8BD

Commercial users of Environment Agency data and information:
Please note that as from 10 January 2011, the minimum charge for the supply and commercial use of Environment Agency data will be £60 (including VAT at 20%). We will no longer levy a fee for processing your payment.

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should still check any attachment before opening it.
We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506. Find out more about the Environment Agency at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Dear Thames West, Customer Contact,

I look forward to receiving the documentation that I have requested before your time extension expires.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Post

Environment Agency

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Dear Mr Post

RE: Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA) / Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

Thank you for your request for information on why the stretch of towing
path was closed to the public; the amount of money spent by the
Environment Agency restoring the river bank adjoining the path and if,
when and why the stretch of river bank was sold by the Environment Agency
and, if sold the sale price?  You also requested copies of all
documents and correspondence, which the Environment Agency possesses
relating to the stretch of towpath at Millbank.

Requests for information that are recorded are generally governed by the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The information you have requested
is environmental and it is therefore exempted from the provisions of FOIA
by FOIA s.39(1). We are therefore considering your request under the
provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

We have contacted our Regional Legal and Estates teams who have provided
the following information:

1. The stretch of towing path was closed to the public
in May 2004 due to the eroding river bank.  This was a concern of
public safety.

2. £97,000 was spent on the restoration of the river
bank. 

3. The stretch of river bank was sold by the Environment
Agency on 4 February, 2011 for £7,500.  The correspondence, which
includes the reasons leading to the sale of the river bank, is now
available for collection from either our Office in Wallingford at the
address below, or our Regional Office,  King Meadow House, Kings Meadow
Road, Reading RG1 8DQ.

The correspondence is considerable.  I would be grateful if you could
let me know from which office you would like to collect the paperwork.

Please find attached our Standard Notice which is supplied with this
information.  I have also attached a further copy of my letter of 14
March, 2011, which details the Exceptions under EIR Reg.123 Personal Data.

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request for
information, you can contact us to ask for our decision to be reviewed. If
you are still not satisfied following this, you can then make an appeal to
the Information Commissioner, who is the statutory regulator for Freedom
of Information. The address is: Office of the Information Commissioner,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF .

With regards

Melinda Crosfield

External Relations Officer

Planning and Corporate Services

West Thames

Direct Dial : 01491 828511

Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park,

Wallingford, OX10 8BD

E-Mail address change: As from 1st April Thames and Southern are merging
to form the new Environment Agency South East Region. This area office
will now be known as West Thames. Our new e-mail address is
[1]WT[Environment Agency request email] effective from 28 March.

Information in this message may be confidential and may be legally
privileged. If you have received this message by mistake, please notify
the sender immediately, delete it and do not copy it to anyone else.

We have checked this email and its attachments for viruses. But you should
still check any attachment before opening it.

We may have to make this message and any reply to it public if asked to
under the Freedom of Information Act, Data Protection Act or for
litigation. Email messages and attachments sent to or from any
Environment Agency address may also be accessed by someone other than the
sender or recipient, for business purposes.

If we have sent you information and you wish to use it please read our
terms and conditions which you can get by calling us on 08708 506 506.
Find out more about the Environment Agency at
[2]www.environment-agency.gov.uk

References

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ron ridley left an annotation ()

As an angler for many years, access to the Thames on towing paths, has always been a source of free fishing. However this source seems to be eroding along with the river bank. Repairs at Marlow £17,500 with a selling price of £1,700 doesn't seem to make sense. My fishing rod licence along with the rest of the anglers who fish Environment Agency waters, apparently contribute to the upkeep of the Thames and other waterways. Land with water frontage would be extremely valuable to developers. What is going on?.
There is also a closed section of the towing path adjacent to Cliveden. The path is gated with an attached notice saying that the closure is temporary, while repairs are carried out. However the notice appears to be very old which would indicate to me that the repairs are not going ahead. Why? Is it to give privacy to the adjoining cottage? The towing path was there before the cottage. If someone wanted to tow a boat/barge with a horse ( and why not) it would be impossible. I heard, thirty odd years ago of people with riverside property extending their boundary's down to the river bank and closing the towpath. The towpath is a public right of way.