A PROPOSED wakeboarding centre on Burnley’s Rowley Lake will only “deface” the beauty spot, says a local councillor.

Residents living around the nature haven have said they are seriously concerned about the impact plans for a water sports complex will have on the lake, according to Cliviger Conservative councillor Andrew Newhouse.

Just last month Sport England announced a £70,000 grant for the project which would see a wakeboarding centre and canoeing school created in the Brun Valley Forest Park.

But Coun Newhouse said: “I still cannot believe we are trying to deface Rowley Lake with this wakeboarding centre. We have already got giant wind turbines forced upon us in Cliviger and if it’s not careful this council is going to become known for destroying its beauty spots. If there is ever a need for a large storage facility then I’m sure the council can find a very nice area to build it in.”

Coun Newhouse said he had been approached by a number of people living in the immediate area around the lake. But Labour Coun John Harbour, executive member for leisure, said the facility will benefit the whole borough.

He added: “I know that there will be some people opposed to this but I can assure you that there are also a lot of people supporting this bid.

“There has been some scaremongering about what is going to be built there and you would think there was going to be a power station there.

“We are developing a sporting and recreational facility for the whole town and I hope that local people can recognise that.”

The proposed centre would also offer opportunities in trail running, orienteering, angling and triathlon.