Although Bedford is an acknowledged centre for paddlesports, river space is very restricted and rowers have to travel to other venues to prepare for international competitions. An Olympic sized watersports lake, taken with other sporting venues in the town, would be a superb boost to Bedford.
A planning application for a rowing lake, submitted by the Rowing Lake Company Ltd. was granted planning permission at Bedfordshire County Council’s Development Control Committee on 20 July 2006. Since granting planning permission it was widely recognised that the facility should be as inclusive as possible and thus renamed ‘Watersports Lake’ to promote wider access for non motorised user groups and activities.
Enabling Development for a Watersports Lake within BRVP
A group of landowners made a formal submission to Bedford Borough Council to secure the principle of additional development to fund the delivery of both the watersports lake and the Bedford River Valley Park. s website using the following link.
An extract is here relating to the Bedford Rowing Lake:
115.The creation of the Bedford River Valley Park (BRVP), which lies to the east of
Bedford within the wider Forest of Marston Vale and encompasses the existing
Priory Country Park, is a long-standing and key part of the Council’s
endeavour to deliver appropriate green infrastructure. It falls within Green
Infrastructure Zone 3 (Lower Great Ouse River Valley) and is identified as one
of the key priorities for development. At over 800ha in size the park is
designed to provide multi-functional green space close to Bedford to serve the
recreational needs of an expanding population. It includes within its boundary a proposal for a 2000m+ long water-sports lake, a much-needed facility both locally and regionally. Having regard to these matters I believe that the BRVP proposal is a vital ingredient in the planning of the future of the Borough and merits strong support and endorsement.