TOWN councillors have refused permission for a larger lifeguard hut on Lyme Regis beach, described by the RNLI as an “important safety enhancement”.
The RNLI requested that the larger, raised lifeguard hut be installed on the sandy beach during the main summer season, and removed when not in operation. This would replace the smaller hut currently used by lifeguards, which sits at ground level.
The charity said the proposed hut would improve safety on the beach, as lifeguards would be able to better see the beach during busy periods and it would provide a better view of people in the water.
However, town councillors described the design as “ugly and unnecessary” at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Councillor John Broom commented: “Personally I think it’s horrendous. I don’t mind them having a hut on the beach, but this structure is unnecessary.”
Councillor Brian Larcombe said there were many coastal resorts that did not even have a lifeguard facility, or have a lifeboat station within a few metres of the beach, so he felt Lyme Regis was already well covered.
He also said he did not think the proposed hut looked temporary and was concerned it would stay in place all year.
Councillor Cheryl Reynolds added that Lyme Regis did not have a very big sandy beach and if they took up too much space there would be no one for the lifeguards to look after.
Councillor Richard Doney said the RNLI had a “vested interest” in saying it would improve safety but he did not see any justification for the larger hut.
“To me it’s an ugly, unnecessary endorsement,” he added.
Councillor Jeff Scowen first expressed concern at going against safety advice of the RNLI, but later said he had been swayed by fellow councillors’ arguments.
It was agreed to refuse the request.