Fishing lake will leave us wading, fear homeowners
HOMEOWNERS in Wraxall are calling for a halt to work to build a large fishing lake just metres from their homes – fearing it will engulf their properties with floodwater.
Local councillor Dr Hugh Pratt has secured planning permission to create a three-metre deep, three and a half acre deep fishing lake on a 0.54 hectare site next to Watercress Farm in the village.
Dr Pratt, who bought the land of the National Trust, says the lake is for him and his two sons to fish from.
But people living at Watercress Farm and Watercress Barn say if the project goes ahead, their homes could be at risk of flooding.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The area already becomes heavily waterlogged following bad weather and in October and November, fire crews were called to pump thousands of gallons of water off the fields.
Due to the drainage systems put in when the houses were built in 2006 water did not get into the properties – but it was only millimetres away.
Dr Pratt wants to fill the lake with water from a natural spring, which also feeds the Tyntesfield Estate.
An overflow system where excess water from the lake will flow into nearby ditches and rhynes and the Land Yeo River would have to be installed. But residents say that this overflow – along with the water pressure from the lake – will raise the water table and force water into their properties.
Mr Pratt secured permission for the lake in February despite concerns being raised by the North Somerset Internal Drainage Board.
Drainage board experts said that a full investigation should be carried out to assess the impact of any water migration and the underlying ground conditions on neighbouring properties before work could start.
Brian Jones, of Watercress Farm, said he was furious work had started and said permission for the scheme should not have been granted without checks on the impact of neighbouring properties being carried out.
Mr Jones, a specialist property developer and business adviser, said: "A full assessment should have been carried out as part of this application to ensure the water level does not rise and impact on our homes.
"The fields around here already get heavily waterlogged in bad weather, but currently this drains away.
"It is also pumped out through a network of pipes to a pump house on the grounds and into a tank which feeds Tyntesfield.
"The lake will be filled with 10,000 tonnes of water and the pressure of this will just force water up onto the land and into our properties."
Mr Pratt, who is Wraxall and Failand parish councillor and lives in Backwell, first secured planning permission for the lake three years ago, subject to a number of conditions.
But work didn't start and his consent expired. He reapplied for permission last year and consent was given again in February, but this time with just a handful of conditions. He must ensure no damage to the access road when entering and leaving the site. All other conditions – including building the overflow – can be carried out after the lake is constructed.
Mr Jones, who bought his property as a burnt out ruin and has spent £700,000 redeveloping it, added: "Although the plan is for it to be a freshwater lake fed by springs, essentially it will fill automatically from the local rhynes and rivers.
"We could end up with this lake on our doorstep without any measures to protect us.
"We are concerned about his eventual plans for the use of the lake."