£30,000 to be spent on Lake Grounds improvements
By Prue_Reid | Sunday, March 03, 2013, 15:38
TENS of thousands of pounds is to be spent on improving drainage at Portishead Lake Grounds - in a bid to stop it flooding in the future.
Model boats on the lake
North Somerset Council is to spend £30,000 on the beauty spot following complaints about it flooding during the winter.
Problems have occurred in the past when heavy rainfall meant the lake became full and water started to spill over onto the surrounding pathway, making it treacherous to use.
The beauty spot can also get heavily waterlogged when water levels rise, giving surface water nowhere to properly drain off.
A new sluice gate has been installed in the lake in a bid to drain some of the water out of the lake, which is fed by a number of natural springs in the vicinity.
Excess water from the lake drains out of the sluice and into the estuary.
Work has also been carried out in recent years while water levels were low to clean out the lake.
Scores of empty bottles of alcohol, cans, a bike frame, shopping trolleys and road signs were among the rubbish pulled from the water.
A natural spring that feeds the lake has also had to be diverted onto the beach to stop it from adding to the flooding problem.
News that funding has been earmarked to improve the drainage of the lake has been welcomed by local councillors.
David Pasley, who represent the Lake Grounds, said: "The lake currently can't cope when we have excessive rainfall and it overspills.
"This problem is exacerbated because the lake is fed by natural springs and well as the rain water
"As a result the water floods over onto the pathway and in turn the surface deteriorates, making it dangerous to use.
"It is good news this money has been made available as it will make the area safer for everyone.
"However I would like to see more money allocated to improve the level of maintenance of the Lake Grounds overall."
The council is also now currently discussing the possibility of dredging the lake following a plea from Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club.
The club has been using the lake at the Lake Grounds for more than 20 years to train its cadets using small sailing dinghies
But club leaders now say it is becoming increasingly difficult to use the lake because it is silted up, meaning the boat's rudders and centre boards keep getting stuck in the mud.
Funding for the work may be available as part of Olympic legacy funding for groups which encourage young people to get involved in sport.
The sailing club would apply for the money, with the backing of North Somerset, to fund any future dredging scheme.
The money earmarked for the lake improvements is part of 106 cash planning agreement cash from developments in the town.
North Somerset Council spokeswoman, Zoe Briffitt, said: "A sum of£30,000 will be available from section 106 contributions.
"We are currently looking at the best way to use these resources and options include upgrading the path around the lake, replacing a shelter and improving the drainage into the lake.
"No decisions have been made as yet.