Huge lake could be built at Suffolk manor

Bawdsey Manor in Suffolk was the world's first RADAR site and is now owned by holiday company PGL Pi

Bawdsey Manor in Suffolk was the world's first RADAR site and is now owned by holiday company PGL Picture: GRAHAM MOSS - Credit: Archant

A massive lake could be created on the site of a historic RAF site, plans have revealed.

If approved, the plans would see a 14,700sq m lake created in the grounds of Bawdsey Manor - home to several Grade II listed buildings previously used by the RAF throughout the Second World War and Cold War.

Now occupied by PGL, a national children's adventure and summer camp company, the manor is home to a more different crowd.

The lake would be used to provide canoeing and raft building opportunities for guests, providing further adventure activities alongside existing ziplines, climbing walls and abseil towers.

Owners had looked to see whether it would be possible to instead use the River Deben, instead of creating a new lake.

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But in a letter, PGL said it would not use the river as an alternative due to safety risks for primary schoolchildren.

Under the Health and Safety Executive definitions, the river is classified "hazardous" because of "the potential effect of the wind and tide and the lack of immediate access to land or rescue."

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Objections to the plans have come from Bawdsey Parish Council, Suffolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB on the grounds it would affect the Area Of National Beauty, cause excess noise, impact on wildlife and create flood risks.

In its objection, the parish council said: "There is no doubt this development will cause an incremental spread of noise over the whole area, causing a loss of wider amenity for private residents.

"Raft building and canoeing are inherently noisy activities due to interactions between children and between children and their instructors."

Their objection was denounced by the district council's head of environmental health, saying the council is not convinced the lake will be source of significant disturbance to neighbours.

In terms of the historic significance of the manor, Historic England noted the plans "represent some degree of harm to the significance of the registered park and garden", but did accept the designs and mitigation measures help reduce impacts to views of heritage assets.

PGL was contacted for comment.

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