Lifeboat station bid given green light

Portishead Lifeboat.

Portishead Lifeboat. - Credit: Archant

THE Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been granted planning permission to build a new lifeboat station in Portishead.

New purpose-built premises, with all the necessary facilities, will be created on the site of the former Masonic Lodge in Pier Road, replacing the existing station at Sugar Loaf Beach which resembles a concrete garage.

The new building design includes space for the storage and maintenance of the lifeboat, launching tractor and carriage.

It will also include modern crew changing facilities and a multi-purpose crew room for operational planning, local training and meetings, along with toilets, a small workshop and a charity souvenir sales point.

Colin Williams, RNLI regional operations manager, said: “The permission marks a key milestone in the journey to eventually adopt the Portishead lifeboat trust.

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“We would hope to be moving into the new building and formally adopting the team at Portishead in 2014.”

Building is expected to begin in the autumn, after the launch of a Bristol Channel fundraising initiative aimed at raising money for the new boathouse.

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John Gittings, chairman of The Portishead and Bristol Lifeboat Trust, said: “The trust is delighted with the outcome of the RNLI’s planning application. We are very much looking forward to working together with the RNLI to establish a permanent lifeboat station in Portishead.”

The Portishead and Bristol Lifeboat Trust will benefit from a wider support network when it is adopted but it will remain a community-based organisation, manned by local volunteers and relying on local fundraising to keep it operational.

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