A PETITION has been launched after the town council refused permission for an improved lifeguard hut on Lyme Regis beach.
Local resident Ryan Turner launched the petition after hearing that the council turned down a proposal from the RNLI to set up a raised lifeguard hut on the town’s sandy beach during the summer holidays.
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”.
They expressed concerns that the hut would take up too much space on the sandy beach and that there was no justification for the facility, as Lyme’s beach was very safe.
Many residents have since taken to social media to voice their concerns over the council’s decision.
Mr Turner, a keen fisherman and volunteer medic with British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “Hundreds of people visit this extremely busy seaside town in the summer and anything that can make the beach safer for everyone should be properly considered.
“The RNLI that understands the dangers of the sea more than anyone have recommended this. I ask you all to sign this [petition] to get the council to reconsider their decision.”
Commenting on Facebook, he added: “I cannot believe they have refused an improved lifeguard station on the basis of it looking ugly and some beaches don’t have one at all so our is fine.
“You have the chance to improve safety and your choosing not to take it. Like I said before, those councillors can go and tell the family if the unthinkable happens to a child.”
Town clerk John Wright said: “The council welcomes interest from the local community about this issue.
“As soon as the petition is received, the council will arrange for members to discuss it.
“We encourage the public to attend our meetings to listen to and engage with councillors on issues affecting the local community.”
More than 600 people have already signed the online petition, which can be found at http://bit.ly/2ETUviS