HERE's a bit of good news for anglers amidst the coronavirus lockdown....

Britain’s best barbel fishing peg looks as if it will be saved from being buried under concrete.

As we revealed before lockdown, iconic peg 1A at Cromwell Weir was set to give way to a hydroelectric power station.

The famous swim is on the Collingham AA stretch of the River Trent, in Nottinghamshire.

Turbines for hydropower were set to be installed by Cromwell Weir Hydropower Ltd.

The company has now said it is putting its plans on hold.

Project called off

Collingham AA chairman Russ Jones told Angler’s Mail: “Working with Fish Legal, we have been fighting a legal battle for three years, but we had reached a point where there was nothing more that we could do.

“I did suspect that there may be funding problems, as plans had been amended from three turbines to two, and they changed their name from Barn Energy to Cromwell Weir Hydropower Ltd.

“Now the firm has confirmed that they couldn’t begin work in time to hit a deadline of March 2021 to qualify for a special Government tariff, so they have called off the project for now.

“We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the future, but with economic uncertainty for the next few years, it might never happen.”

Best barbel fishing’s future

Russ revealed: “We’re renewing our angling lease for the water with the Canal & River Trust, and fingers crossed that Government lockdown restrictions will be lifted for the June 16 river start.

“The barbel fishing is very consistent along the stretch, with hundreds of doubles caught every season.

“We did lose some money for the nine bookable pegs this winter, due to flooding, so we’d like to recoup that this summer.

“We have a thriving club with a big waiting list, so we’ll get through this coronavirus setback,” added Russ.

Money hit controversial plan

Cromwell Weir Hydropower Ltd confirmed that their decision to postpone the project was related to money.

A statement from directors Ewan Campbell-Lendrum and Mark Simon said: “In close consultation, we have to conclude that we are not going to be able to meet the March 28, 2021, Feed-in Tariff deadline for energisation of the Cromwell Weir hydropower station.

“Since the Feed-in Tariff represents around half of the revenue of the project, the marginal economics of the project do not make any sense now.

“We propose to maintain the rights that we have with the Canal & River Trust in the event that a future, enlightened government of whatever stripe puts in place a programme that supports Cromwell Weir Hydropower.”

Will fishing happen on June 16?

River anglers are hoping to be able to get back on the waters when the new coarse season starts on June 16th in England and Wales.

Lockdown restrictions would need to be relaxed for that to happen, and angling would need to be allowed again.

The Angling Trust have pushed the case for angling to start when the time is right.

They put a special report to government, outlining the sport’s many benefits and how a return could work with maximum safety.

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