Gates to be replaced as work continues to reopen Marine Lake

Weston's Marine Lake has been closed since April.

The two faulty sluice gates in Marine Lake are to be replaced. - Credit: North Somerset Council

Two broken sluice gates at Weston's Marine Lake are to be replaced as work continues to reopen the lake.

The £60,000 project will provide strengthened sluice gates which will enable the council to empty the lake when required.

This will help to provide fresher water when needed and also help to flush out silt, slowing down its inevitable build-up.

More: Weston's Marine Lake to remain closed due to safety concerns.

Earlier this year the council pledged to invest £300,000 to bring Marine Lake back into use as an outdoor swimming and water sports facility. 

In April it submitted an application to the government's Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for a licence to remove around 30,000 tonnes of accumulated silt mechanically from the lake.

At the same time, the lake was closed to allow high tides to naturally flush out as much of the silt as possible and the two faulty sluice gates were removed to allow the lake to fully drain.

The council is still awaiting the outcome of its licence application and is currently clarifying some key issues with the MMO about the application. 

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In the meantime it has been working with contractors and dredging experts to prepare for work starting as soon as the licence is issued.

Cllr Mike Solomon, the council's executive member for neighbourhoods and community services, confirmed the authority is working hard to get the project finished and the lake reopened.

He said: "We're frustrated by delays in getting the licence, but recognise we are adjacent to a really valuable wildlife estuary and need to be sure all controls are in place to protect our valuable wildlife. It's not unusual for there to be clarification needed about certain issues with a licence application and we are working through these issues with the MMO.

"In the meantime the natural tidal ebb and flow is continuing to help dislodge and remove silt from the lake, making the overall job easier in the end."