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Plans revealed for Southmere Lake development

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 October 2019

A computer generated image of how Southmere Lake will look once all the planned works are complete. Picture: Peabody

A computer generated image of how Southmere Lake will look once all the planned works are complete. Picture: Peabody

Archant

Thamesmead's Southmere Lake is to get a major biodiversity boost.

A computer image of what Peabody has planned for the lake and surrounding area. Picture: PeabodyA computer image of what Peabody has planned for the lake and surrounding area. Picture: Peabody

Peabody housing association has appointed environmental and engineering experts Land and Water Services Ltd to undertake the £1.6m initial phase of improvement works.

The lake is part of a wider regeneration plan for Southmere that will eventually see Peabody build around 860 new homes over three phases around the lake along with a library, public square and a boathouse, all joining the newly opened Lakeside Centre.

Dr Phil Askew, Peabody's director of landscape and placemaking in Thamesmead, said: "Southmere Lake is without doubt one of the jewels in Thamesmead's crown but now needs work to improve it. This work will breathe new life into the lake and surrounding area, making it a great place for the people of Thamesmead to enjoy again, as well as attracting a richer variety of wildlife to the area."

He said the works will involve removing more than 4,500 tons of silt to make the lake deeper. This will then be used to establish a wetlands area on the east side of the lake to attract new birds and wildlife.

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This area will also include new fishing platforms and a fish free channel to encourage biodiversity and allow other aquatic life, such as frogs and newts to flourish.

A new island will also be created near the new library along with the introduction of a silt curtain and reed bed to filter the water and prevent algae build up.

It has also been revealed that the island near Southmere Towers will be restored and a bat monitoring system will be installed to discover which species of bats are in the area.

Detailed designs are being finalised with dredging and construction work due to start next month and be completed by April 2020. This will be followed next summer by new planting and the introduction of bird protection measures.

Following that, the second phase of the transformation will get under way and see even more enhancements of the lake as well as the surrounding area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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