A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save the Blue Lagoon at Belmont amid fears the popular beauty spot could be filled in.

Plans were first brought to light at a public meeting last week, which heard the lagoon’s owners were considering either breaching the dam and allowing the lagoon to return to nature or to fill in the reservoir.

Now a petition has been launched to register opposition to the proposals and preserve the lagoon for future generations.

Jennifer Mullins, who started the petition, said: “Not only is it a lovely place to walk which is good for physical and mental health but inhabits and attracts lots of wildlife. Many people travel to the Blue Lagoon to appreciate this hidden gem especially in nice weather.”

Blue Lagoon Heritage Ltd, a consortium, first took ownership of the reservoir in a deal believed to be worth £50,000 in September, 2010. The lagoon had been drained by previous owner, Belmont Holdings, that May in order to avoid being penalised by the Environment Agency, but it quickly filled up with rainwater again.

The consortium’s proposals to fill in the lagoon were first broached after it emerged that the cost of bringing the reservoir up to modern safety standards, as laid out by the 1975 Reservoirs Act, could cost up to £1m.

According to North Turton parish councillor Keith Harrison, the plans could see part of the body of water filled in, while land around it is converted into a fishing lodge.

But Belmont residents, as well as visitors from further afield have been dismayed at the idea of losing the reservoir, while the level of work required could also mean a great deal of disruption for people living nearby, with Cllr Harrison having estimated it could take up to 10,000 lorries worth of quarry material travelling up and down Church Street.

Ms Mullins said: “Many elderly people who have grown up in Belmont have fond memories of playing there with their friends and are saddened and outraged at the prospect of it disappearing. I have seen this sorrow and despondency first hand.”

The plans would have to be considered first by the Environment Agency and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/blue-lagoon-heritage-ltd-save-the-belmont-blue-lagoon