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‘Dangerous’ plan to change Portishead marina heavily criticised

PUBLISHED: 15:54 17 February 2017

Portishead Quays Marina. Picture: Adam Pinson (iwitness24)

Portishead Quays Marina. Picture: Adam Pinson (iwitness24)

Planned changes to Portishead marina are ‘dangerous’ and need to be scrapped, according to members of the town council.

Portishead Quays Marina. Picture: Simon James (iwitness24) Portishead Quays Marina. Picture: Simon James (iwitness24)

North Somerset Council is keen to use about £80,000 in community grants to pay for piers, viewing platforms and potential watersports equipment.

However, town councillors have criticised North Somerset’s plans saying it is nonsensical to try to encourage inexperienced youngsters to sail by sticking large platforms in the water which they would have to navigate their way around.

The project was unveiled earlier this month and saw North Somerset plan piers into the marina from Pill Park, which it feels will pave the way for kayaking, sailing and paddle-boarding to take place.

Portishead town councillors agree changes are needed, but are concerned by North Somerset’s plan.

Cllr Marilyn Koops said: “It is important we teach youngsters in this area. The channel is one of the most dangerous stretches of water, if not the most dangerous, in the whole of Great Britain.

“At the moment, the facilities are so dire... we have appalling access (to the marina) with erosion of the banking. It’s hazardous to even walk down.”

Cllr Koops wants sailing to be encouraged off Pill Park but raised concerns over having activities such as fishing in close proximity to youngsters out in boats.

She also said the proposed designs would disadvantage disabled users too.

Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club wants a slipway or an artificial beach and talks with the town council were progressing, until North Somerset published its plans

Cllr Sue Mason said the sailing club’s idea ‘made sense’ and thought the timing of North Somerset’s announcement was ‘strange’.

Calls were made from members of the town council for North Somerset Council to scrap its scheme.

Cllr David Oyns, who sits on both councils, said: “If we have youngsters attempting to learn (to sail) the last thing they want is a ruddy great pontoon they could crash into and cause themselves potentially serious injury.

“I’m absolutely certain this design will be changed because it is patently inappropriate.”

North Somerset’s plan was published on its website for Cllr Felicity Baker to sign off.

However, it has now been replaced with a similar notice which outlines the same ideas, but says ‘further consultation’ will take place before a decision is made.

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