Plans for artificial beach in Portishead revealed

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 August 2017

Pill Park which could be having an artificial beach being put in to help boats get down to the waterfront.

Pill Park which could be having an artificial beach being put in to help boats get down to the waterfront.

Archant

An artificial beach could be built at Portishead.

The idea has been concocted by North Somerset Council following requests from Portishead Town Council and the town’s sailing club to improve watersports facilities for beginners.

However, the plan has been lambasted by some who believe it is a ‘ridiculous’ proposition and a questionable use of taxpayers’ money.

North Somerset Council’s idea is to build an artificial beach at Pill Park which it believes will make it easier for people trying to launch small boats at the marina.

It is working on the design and estimated costs of the proposal at the moment, but a decision whether to push ahead with the project is expected to be made next month.

North Somerset Council in February published plans for a viewing platform and jetty, which Cllr Felicity Baker was due to sign off.

However, the initiative was halted following a negative reaction from the community, with town councillors questioning the wisdom of putting large pontoon structures in the water where novice young sailors are trying to learn their craft.

The council has spent the past six months overhauling the scheme and is moving towards creating an artificial beach instead.

The idea is supported by Charles Murphy, of Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club.

He said: “It would replace the beach that was created on this site in 2006, but sadly the material used then was only soil, and this soon eroded into mud.

“The artificial beach is functionally perfect to enable easy launch of sailing dinghies, kayaks or paddle boards for our young people and as a bonus is also aesthetically attractive.

“It should be achievable leaving funds for the other essential part of the solution, the local shared storage facility at Pill Park.”

However, some Portishead town councillors are incredulous at the beach proposal.

Cllr Arthur Terry said: “We were asking for a simple facility to help crafts get in and out of the water.

“This is such a ridiculous suggestion.”

Others however believe this idea is better than North Somerset Council’s first plan, even if somewhat questionable.

Cllr John Clark said: “We seem to have lost the viewing platform which was unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

“A beach will make the area look prettier but whether that’s a good use of public money, I’m not sure.

“Will the council just put sand on the mud?”

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