The Barnsley, Dearne & Dove Canals Trust aims to reconnect the rivers Calder and Don by restoring both broad-beam canals. The top pound/lock of the Dearne & Dove Canal’s Elsecar Branch has been restored. A feasibility study proved that re-linking was possible.
The Barnsley Canal in Wakefield is safeguarded in the Local Development Framework against adverse planning decisions. Representations were made during 2017 to Barnsley’s draft LDF inquiry in an attempt to achieve the same status for the abandoned canals in Barnsley. The inquiry finished at the end of August 2018, but regrettably the inspectors report issued in 2019 did not support a similar approach in Barnsley. This is a severe blow to the restoration and means that existing stretches of the canal that are still discernible will be protected, but there will be no basis for a long-term restoration strategy for the future.
Because of staffing issues, Rotherham Council is taking less interest in the restoration now. Unfortunately, housing development underway at the junction of the Barnsley/River Calder does not include a marina as had been postulated at one stage. Thus both accesses to the national network remain problematic.