Budget for Â£850,000 Brooklands project approved
An Â£850,000 project to dredge and maintain Brooklands lake was authorised by councillors on Tuesday, delighting petitioners who called for action.
The East Worthing facility has been dogged by years of problems related to toxic blue-green algae, which residents claimed caused the death of wildlife.
Council cabinet members approved the release of the six-figure budget on Tuesday, with officers to award the contract for the project shortly.
Work – which will take between 13 and 18 weeks – could start as early as September.
Walter Smith, of Western Close, Lancing, who organised the petition said: “We have hit the jackpot by the looks of it and we have just go to keep going and get it organised.
“I am chuffed. It has been a big community effort.
“It started with a few phone calls and I thought I was talking to a brick wall but then my wife said I could do a petition. I got 1,500 signatures with no problem whatsoever in about 36 hours.”
Councillors approved an action plan to deal with the issue in December.
The project will see around 10,000 cubic metres of silt removed from the bottom of the lake.
The silt will be retained on site to reduce costs, with the creation of islands and the material placed around the edges of the lake.
Costruction of reed beds, reducing the impact of pollution from the Teville Stream and silt traps will help with long-term maintenance.
The council hopes to set up a Friends of Brooklands Park group to give residents a platform to raise future issues.
Four companies are being considered to carry out the work. The contract will be awarded once final details of the work are confirmed and due diligence carried out.
Cabinet member for environment Diane Guest said she was excited about the plans and heartened to know residents were interested in setting up a group.
Cabinet member for regeneration Kevin Jenkins said: “The lake is an important asset to the borough of Worthing. It’s an area we need to continue to work on as we have visitors coming to the town and it should be an attraction for the town.”
Officers pledged to talk to other organisations to contribute towards the cost of the work.
They also pledged long-term maintainance of the site would include looking at the offer of Brooklands park as a whole.