PLANS to complete a project that has been hampered by a ‘leaky lake’ have been narrowed down to two options.
And after accepting that local residents would like to see some form of water body at Pegswood Moor, Banks Group has pledged to work on the choice of the community.
The issue over the second phase of the Community Park restoration works at the site has been going on for more than half-a-decade after a lake created ten years ago failed to fill up and was considered a danger.
Proposals by Banks over the years have included filling the whole lake with up to a million tonnes of imported inert waste such as soil and rock from across the region.
But this was strongly opposed by residents, as well as a liaison working group of Longhirst, Pegswood and Hebron parish councils, and Morpeth Town Council.
Now the company has come forward to say it is looking to either leave the landform as it is and carry out planting and fencing to tidy up the area or use infill material to create a scheme that would form a smaller lake, but also include extensive woodland planting and a managed species rich meadow.
The latter choice (option two) would take about five years and it would aim to transport 200,000 tonnes of soil and rock to the site per year through a contractor – Thompsons of Prudhoe.
Another part of the scheme is creating a footpath link through Howburn Wood down to Whorral Bank and Banks’ Environment and Community Director Mark Dowdall told a meeting of Pegswood Parish Council that whichever option is chosen, it will look to make progress on this aspect as quickly as possible.
He added: “We have no intention of coming forward with any planning application unless it’s something that you want to see happen and we accept that locals want to see a water feature retained in the park.
“We would do a good job with the first option, but we believe the second option would be better for the area, because in option one we would have to fence off the steeper slopes from public access.
“Option two would create a new woodland and meadow section, the water body would still be between a quarter and a third of the existing lake and it could be used for a few recreational activities such as canoeing.
“This option also creates revenue and this would allow local projects to be supported via our Community Fund.
“All the material would be brought along the Pegswood bypass unless it is produced in the Pegswood or Morpeth areas.”
Among the questions asked by councillors was how the company would address the steep slopes if it progresses with option two and Mr Dowdall said it would use landform techniques from Northumberlandia to make them safe to navigate down to the water.
Pegswood Parish Council will make its choice next month and a meeting of the liaison working group is planned for next week to discuss how the other councils can be involved in deciding which option will be taken forward.