EQUIPMENT for towing wakeboarders on a lake at the Water Park can remain, provided the area is smartened up.

Permission to allow a retained cable tow wakeboard scheme at Lake 31 has been granted by Cotswold District Council (CDC).

The retrospective application for the scheme and associated portable office building was approved last week by the council’s planning committee.

The scheme has already been installed by WMSki and offers recreation activities based in and around Lake 31 and Lake 32 at the Cotswold Country Park and Beach.

In 2008, an application by WMSki for a larger cable tow wakeboard course that covered half of Lake 31, was refused but then approved on appeal.

Although the previous scheme is no longer in use, a smaller scheme was put up without gaining planning permission.

The committee heard from ward Councillor Juliet Layton who said the cable tow centre had caused harm to the character and appearance of Lake 31.

She explained at the meeting that as well as the new scheme, the remnants of the previous scheme, such as gravel infill around the edge of the lake and temporary buildings, were still visible.

She said: “It looks like a building site now which is made far worse due to the Portakabins. The cable tow was up and running even before an application came into this planning department.

“This country park is well within the Water Park where the public can go to enjoy the water. People are paying to go in this water park and it looks awful.”

She added that she did not expect the application to be refused but would like it to be passed with conditions that would protect the character of the lake.

In support of the application, a spokesman for WMSki told the meeting: “Our little cable has supported five athletes and two national champions in the last five years.

“We have created a relaxing environment that encourages riders of all levels.

“There are countless young people who have, and continue to be, a part of wakeboarding here.”

The application was permitted on condition that the temporary building is cladded and screened to ensure it fits in with its surroundings.