Plans by Clevedon’s pilot gig club for a new boat shed have been met with controversy in the local community.

The growing sport of gig racing follows in the tradition of Cornish pilots who would race out to meet incoming merchant ships in a wooden rowing boat, with the gig that made it there first getting the job of guiding the ships in to harbour. In modern times, racing gigs has become a popular sport for many keen to get out on the sea.

Now Clevedon’s pilot gig club are hoping to build a small boatshed to store their two gigs near the marine lake, by Salthouse fields. But the plans have been divisive, with 16 people lodging objections to the plan on North Somerset Council’s planning portal.

You can view and comment on the application here:

One person said: “Believe this large, characterless structure is not in keeping with the Clevedon seafront and will fundamentally change the character of the area.”

Another said it was “absolutely the wrong place.” They added: “This is a busy area for families and children right next to a children’s play park. Taking the gigs in and out of the shed where this is proposed would be incredibly dangerous.”

But seven people also lodged comments in support. One person said: “I think safety concerns are being overstated. The total number of boat movements will be limited as the structure is for storage.

“The gig club has safely conducted similar boat movements in publicly congested areas, without incident, for over a decade.”

Another added: “I can’t see how it would have any negative impact on any other activity along the seafront. Many other sports clubs in Clevedon have dedicated building space; swimming, canoeing, sailing, rugby and football to name a few. Health and fitness should be encouraged for body and soul.

“I’ve never been in a gig but I do enjoy watching them.”