Readers’ letters - October 10

Differing opinions

THE subject of proposed parking charges at the Quay Marina car park in Portishead highlights people’s differing opinions and I can appreciate fully that this private company is a commercial business and interested in profitability as well as ensuring it keeps existing berth holders happy while encouraging new clients.

Comments in last week’s Times cannot be disagreed with. The current parking difficulties around the marina and the Fishing Village, are a result of poor planning and poor negotiation between developers and the local authority. Some of our current councillors were involved at the time.

What’s done is done and despite residents’ fears on planning, nobody listened. However, I must come back on Mike Smith’s comments.

Before the marina as it stands today, Portishead had a working dock and power station, not as he puts it just a ‘muddy puddle’. Residents breathed life and soul into that site but with the changing times, the site was demolished and sold off.

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Some may not know that there is an historic agreement that the residents of Portishead should have continued free access to the Parish Wharf and a similar arrangement exists for Portishead residents to have free storage of their vessels during the winter months at the marina.

Current residents also pay via their council tax to keep the general marina area tidy and presentable despite there being a lack of litter bins so let’s not forget money is injected into this site by Portishead people, not just ‘tourists and boaters’.

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When the Master Plan was agreed, residents were not fully consulted as we know from the obstruction that went up blocking access to the old sea wall coastal path. Existing Portishead residents have had to fight to retain and indeed also claim back, areas which historically they have used, such as Portishead Pier for angling, the coastal sea path for walking and the old wharf area of the dock at the leisure centre end for sailing light craft and fishing.

Quay Marinas obviously negotiated well that its car park would remain private but that was not the best scenario for residents. There could have been public toilets on this site but again, the planning failed. I have written again to Quay Marinas to ask the chairman and director to reconsider the charges being imposed on people with disabilities who possess a Blue Badge. I happen to think that those who may not be wealthy enough to afford a berth in the marina and who may not have the physical abilities of others, should enjoy free access to an historic and lovely area without worry of paying for the privilege.

I hope Quay Marinas’ decision is one of generosity towards non berth holders with a disability which would demonstrate that not all companies act selfishly for financial profit.

Some say that a divide has been created at the marina with a them and us attitude. I do not agree with this view and so hope that Quay Marinas takes an opportunity to do something positive for Portishead residents rather than just focusing on keeping berth holders happy, some who may not even live here.

If we can only have one thing, please let all Blue Badge holders park free.


Albert Road, Portishead

Cover the car park

THE people in Downside object to solar panels in neighbouring fields. Backwell and Chelvey are concerned about a wind turbine. Close to Downside is a large airport car park.

Would it not be possible, and only a little more expensive, to cover the car park with solar panels mounted on a raised framework over the cars?

Would not this be a solution that could be extended to the many other car parks in the area, even in the nation? Perhaps then, there would not be the same need to rely on the less constant generation of turbines.

Such a solution seems to offer income from a source that has not been tapped. It might even be a reason for reducing or eliminating the need for parking charges.

I am not that sure that we motorists should be encouraged in this way but the scheme has the merit of making the best of a bad job.


Sunnymede Road, Nailsea

Mainly families

I AM writing in response to Barry Walters’ letter in North Somerset Times September 26 entitled Lake Grounds Full. I feel that Mr Walters is very out of touch with the needs of the current community in Portishead which is mainly made up of families and this is why I felt it necessary to respond.

As a mother of two children, aged five and eight, we rarely visit the Lake Grounds as it certainly does not meet our needs.

The play equipment is more suitable for under fives as it does not provide sufficient challenge or opportunity for exercise for any child over five.

Mr Walters may think that the Lake Grounds are full listing many things that can be found there including a boating lake, which I have seen boats on once, a pitch and putt golf course that has been closed for years and two bowling greens, which have no relevance whatsoever to the average Portishead resident.

The current park is situated in a large fenced off area that could easily be remodelled or additions made to it to provide a facility that our community could be proud of and attract more visitors to the area to spend money in our town.

While the Lake Grounds remains as it is I will continue to drive elsewhere to far superior facilities at Blaise Castle, Hengrove Park and Salthouse Fields.


Highfield Drive, Portishead

Housing estate

I WOULD like to thank all those who emailed objections to the Clevedon Hall housing estate application or went to the town council meeting last Wednesday.

I am glad to be able to tell you that Clevedon Town Council will recommend refusal of these proposals.

However the main battle will be with North Somerset Council, and if you wish to make any comment on this, it is easy to do via

Click on search planning applications on the left hand side and enter application number 12/P/1539/F in the application number box provided. Then click on comment on this application.

Note that comments can be made separately by each individual member of your household.

Clevedon is a beautiful and unique Victorian town, why should we allow a housing estate on the main part of our seafront?

I am not a Nimby, but in this instance, the monumental problems of access, flood risk and traffic that this development will bring, not only to residents but also to visitors, are just too great.

We have enough traffic problems now without risking the introduction of parking meters and possibly parking permits for residents near the seafront.

If you love Clevedon, use your power to make your comment on this proposal.


Old Church Road, Clevedon

Not full

READING Barry Walters’ letter in Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead Times did make me wonder about the mess we have got into with the future of Portishead’s Lake Grounds.

They are patently not full. Let’s be honest here.

That was the only excuse that North Somerset Council’s ruling group could come up with to stop the Portishead Skate Park Group, despite having planning permission, getting landlord’s consent to build their park.

Whether you support the skate park or not, it has meant that other perfectly good schemes, like the bandstand or the children’s play area, both costing the council nothing, have had to be stopped.

We do need more children’s play facilities at the grounds and what could be a better way of spending a summer’s afternoon than listening to a brass band playing in the Jewel in Portishead’s Crown?

What is needed is a sensible area-wide debate on the future of this North Somerset Council amenity with no special group having any veto.


North Somerset Councillor,

Pill Ward

Star Lane, Pill

Thank you

EARLIER this week I lost my car key whilst out walking my dogs.

So many people offered their support - people offered to look out for the key, a lady offered to give me a lift home, The Windmill agreed to call me if the key was handed in.

My thanks to you all, but particularly to Mr Nicholas who found the key, and left his details on the car so I could retrieve the key.

Thank you all so very much.


The Bramleys, Portishead

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