A SEAFRONT lagoon which cost millions to install has been criticised as stagnant and slimy.

The Three Shells lagoon at Southend seafront is run by Southend Council and was installed in the summer of 2016 to allow visitors to paddle all day long without having to worry about the tides.


'Slimy' - Three Shells Lagoon

However visitors have said the lagoon is a “health issue”, and that those responsible for it need to take action.

John and Wendy Gardner, both 75, said they were disgusted by a “dreadful” smell, so went to investigate further.

John said: “It was a lovely day there were loads of people around, but there were also so many people looking and standing there and pointing at the lagoon. Everyone was wondering what the dreadful smell was.

“My wife and I walked over and the colour of the lagoon - it was like green slime and the smell - disgusting.

“There were toddlers playing nearby and their mothers were telling them to keep away from it.

“I wouldn’t want my grandchildren swimming in it that’s for sure. The water looks like it hasn’t been refreshed since last summer. I called Southend Council and spoke to someone at environmental health who just didn’t want to know. I told them if children were to swallow the water it would be a major health issue.”

A spokesman for Southend Council, said: “The lagoon has proved a very popular addition to the seafront, but it is important to highlight that it is part of the estuary and not a swimming pool, and as such is controlled in large by the estuary itself. The tide washes and refreshes the lagoon naturally at high tide, and during the busy summer months staff also drain the lagoon to allow a complete refresh. Whilst we appreciate the water may appear dark at certain times of year, it is is a natural environment and will often give the appearance of a sea bed.

“We are preparing to install a new decking area at the seafront lagoon.

“The plans also include an automated sluice which would be managed by a remote control, rather than manually at low tide. This would refresh the lagoon more frequently to assist with the removal of seaweed.”