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Coastwatch seeks temporary home
The National Coastwatch Institution team are looking out for a temporary home.
The move will happen while engineering solutions are found to secure a new site straddling an ice-cream kiosk on West Bay seafront.
Members had been using a hut in Burton Bradstock but the site was never permanent.
Now the Coastwatch team have been asked to leave as Burton Cliff Hotel owner Mary-Lou Sturridge is beginning refurbishment work.
At a meeting with West Dorset District Council’s structural team talks were held on how to bolt down the new structure in West Bay.
The Coastwatch project team is preparing detailed designs and specifications for building regulations approval before any work can proceed. William Knapman, station manager Lyme Bay NCI said: “The response from WDDC has been very positive and we are currently finalising some aspects of the design, such as, how to secure the steelwork to the promenade.
“We were never going to be allowed to put it on top of the building – it is a structure that straddles the building and the structure to support it over the building was what added to the cost.
“As an engineer myself I knew it was the only solution. The problem has been how do we bolt that structure to the prom?
“We did a trial bore into the concrete to find it was very tough and pretty thick which surprised it everybody.
“It took two hours to get down 18 inches. It is perfectly strong enough to stand a structure being bolted to it and we think that is a perfectly acceptable solution but we have to get the district council’s permission.
“If they say no ‘you have to dig out the concrete and re-concrete’ I think we would probably abandon ship.”
Mr Knapman said bolting the structure would provide a neat solution without trip hazards.
While details are finalised the NCI has applied for a temporary hut behind the Hive Beach Café.
The new lookout will be a prefabricated wooden hut and is likely to cost under £5,000.
Mr Knapman added: “National Coastwatch is a registered charity operated entirely by volunteers, and our fund raisers are working hard to secure potential grants and donations to finance this development."
If details are ironed out the new lookout at West Bay is likely to cost around £50,000.
Mr Knapman added how supportive Mrs Sturridge had been to the Coastwatch and that they were very grateful to her.