Council consults on de-designating beach for bathing

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 August 2014

The beach at Uphill could be de-designated for bathing.

The beach at Uphill could be de-designated for bathing.

Archant

A BEACH in Uphill could sacrifice its bathing status because it is 'underused' - but a councillor argues it is an 'easy way out' to avoid the water quality being tested.

North Somerset Council has proposed de-designating Uphill Slipway as an area used for bathing.

The council says the beach has become ‘underused’ and that safe access for bathers is very limited due to the car park, soft mud and fast tides.

David Poole, councillor for Uphill and Clarence, said: “Uphill Beach is part of Weston Beach. If they take that bit away where does it leave the rest of the town? It doesn’t bode well for the tourist trade.

“Parts of the River Axe are not safe, but the rest of the beach is a very nice stretch.

“It will have an impact on the area. It is an underused and under-exploited part of the beach which is a shame because it is a lovely village.

“Businesses down there rely on that sort of trade. They are doing their best, and I think we need to give them all the support we can.”

If it were to be de-designated, it would no longer be required to meet the more stringent bathing water standards which come into place in 2015.

Cllr Poole added: “We don’t want it taken off the list of bathing beaches. That end of the beach is as safe as anywhere else. It is an easy way out to take it off the bathing water list instead of sorting out the water quality.”

A council spokesman said the consultation was not being held because of the water quality, but because fewer people are using the beach to bathe in.

The council is holding a consultation until August 31, and comments can be submitted at www.consult.n-somerset.gov.uk/consult.ti/uphill2014

The application will then be reviewed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which would carry out more consultation.

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