A PARISH councillor has welcomed the refusal of new adventure facilities at Cotswold Country Park and Beach referring to the tragic death of a 15-year-old girl at the site last year.

Vice chairman of Somerford Keynes Parish Council, Sarah Powell, made reference to the death of teenager Kajil Devi as she urged Cotswold District Council planners to throw out an application by owners Watermark to create a zip wire, commonly known as a death slide, over the manmade beach.

Kajil died last July after she was pulled unconscious from the water. She is believed to have been trying to rescue her 10-year-old cousin who had drifted away in a boat.

"We urge the council should it permit this application that it insists on a very thorough, site-specific risk assessment especially considering this was the site of a tragic accident last summer," said Mrs Powell.

"Whilst we understand risk assessment is not a planning but an operational consideration, we feel obliged to raise our worries.

"The safety plan does not state as a concern that it may be possible for items to be dropped from the zip wire onto the beach and bathing areas causing injury."

Members noted her safety concerns at the planning committee meeting last Wednesday. Cllr John Birch said: "We have a moral responsibility and I'm worried about the risk."

Current planning regulations mean Watermark can only permit low-intensity activities at the site such as sailing, fishing, and windsurfing. Mrs Powell said the zip wire, running from a 5.8metre staircase, would create significant noise that would be detrimental to the beach's wild birds.

CDC planning officer Helen Donnelly had recommended the application for approval but members agreed with Mrs Powell's concerns about the structure's impact on wildlife, the noise it would generate and general risks.

Cllr Sue Jepson said the structure would be a "dis-attraction" to users of the beach.

Watermark land manager Will Gibney said the company was considering an appeal.

"Once again it seems a small group of councillors have prevented us from building what would have been an exciting and unique leisure facility for everyone to enjoy," he said.

"Despite planning officers recommending the zip wire for approval, these councillors are only concerned with keeping the Water Park for their own use.

"We have been through this before with our application to move our cable-ski facility to Cotswold Country Park.

"Initially the plans were rejected, but our appeal was successful. This process costs the local authority money which could be better spent elsewhere."