First step towards a long-term goal


The

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has submitted a planning application to North Somerset District

Council for a new lifeboat station at Portishead.

The charity plans to demolish the former

Portishead Masonic Lodge and construct a purpose built facility for the

local lifeboat team.

This is the latest move toward the RNLI eventually

adopting The Portishead Lifeboat Trust.

The RNLI first

unveiled their proposals for a new lifeboat station in May at a public

meeting held in the town.

The new building would be primarily for the

storage and maintenance of the lifeboat, launching tractor, and carriage

and for the crew’s personal protective equipment, but it would also

allow for modern crew changing facilities and a multi-purpose crew room

for operational planning, local training and meetings.

Toilets, a small

workshop and store area and a souvenir sales point would also be

included in the design.

An extension that would be constructed at an

angle to the main building would house the lifeboat and launching rig.

A

tractor would be used to push the lifeboat and carriage to the water

via a new 65 metre pre-cast concrete ramp.

Tom Mansell, RNLI divisional inspector for the south west, said: ‘The general

reaction from local people to our plans to operate from this site has

been very positive but we have taken into account the numerous comments

made at the public meeting before submitting our application.

‘We have

done a lot of research and consultation and liaising with relevant

advisors, organisations and individuals and have taken much time and

effort so as to ensure we have produced a fully comprehensive document

for consideration.

‘The trustees of the RNLI have agreed, in

principle, to pursue the adoption of the Portishead and Bristol lifeboat

from the Portishead Lifeboat Trust.

‘However, the RNLI will be unable to

do this until a suitable operations site has been identified and the

requisite shore facilities put in place to enable an RNLI B class

inshore lifeboat and its launching equipment to operate effectively.

‘This means a long term permanent facility, built to RNLI standards, must

be a real option before adoption can continue.

‘The submission of this

application is the latest step towards this goal.’

Dave Herbert, a spokesman for The Portishead Lifeboat Trust, said: ‘The

Portishead Lifeboat Trust is pleased to see the RNLI have submitted a

planning application for development of a new lifeboat station at the

site of the former Masonic Lodge.

‘This is the next positive step towards

what we hope will be the mutually agreed adoption of The Portishead

Lifeboat Trust by the charity.’  

The Portishead and Bristol

lifeboat is part of a chain of safety around the Severn Estuary. The

volunteer crew there work in tandem with RNLI lifeboats at Burnham on

Sea, Weston super Mare, Penarth and Barry Dock and the RNLI believe it

makes sense to bring them all into the RNLI.

If planning consent

were to be granted a fundraising campaign would be launched in support

of the project to build the new lifeboat station and work would start at

the site in 2013.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the proposals at Portishead or to make comment on the proposals can email feedback@rnli.org.uk

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