A CONTROVERSIAL secret agreement between disgraced former Cotswold Water Park Society (CWPS) chief Dennis Grant and property developers Watermark has finally been revealed.

The documents, which were signed in December 2007 but had been hidden from the public until last week, detail a series of commercial agreements around the former Keynes Country Park, now known as Cotswold Country Park and Beach.

Among the agreements detailed in the documents, which have been legally signed by solicitors, are that CWPS would support any planning application made by Watermark, whilst opposing applications by any other company.

The documents also reveal that Watermark agreed to pay three separate grants totalling more than £300,000 to the society. The developers paid the money but it never made it into CWPS's accounts and is understood to have been part of the money that Dennis Grant stole.

And they show that the tourist attraction was profitable when the deal was struck, making an annual profit of around £100,000. It was signed over for a peppercorn rent of £1 with an additional annual fee of £70,000 a year for the duration of the lease deal. At the end of the 120-year contract, that would have been worth just 47p a year.

Watermark director Max Thomas said at a recent public hearing his company had been a victim of Dennis Grant's deceit.

"We got involved in Keynes Country Park because of Dennis Grant," he said. "It seemed like a very beneficial plan for us to take up the lease."

At the time CWPS was overseen by a joint committee comprised of representatives of the five local authorities - Gloucestershire and Wiltshire county councils, Cotswold and North Wiltshire district councils and Swindon Borough Council.

CDC councillor Jim Parsons (Con, Avening) said the Cotswold Water Park Joint Committee (CWPJC) which will be abolished next month could not have known about the agreements.

"We knew nothing about it – this sort of agreement wouldn’t have been presented to the committee at the time," he added.

Residents and parish councillors around the Water Park have reacted with dismay that the documents remained hidden for so long.

At a meeting of Somerford Keynes parish council this week, Cllr Roger Sleeman said he was pleased the documents had finally been made available to the public.

Parish council chairman Cllr Karen Mogridge added she was concerned questions were not raised about the agreements when they were first drawn up.

The Cotswold Water Park Trust, the charity which took over running of the park after Grant’s arrest, has said it will ensure any plans he may have had to use the land around Cotswold Country Park and Beach for property development will not go ahead.