LIFEBOAT chiefs are causing waves with the design for their proposed lifeguard lookout hut at West Bay.

Town councillors were dismayed to see plans for the California surfing beach-style kiosk planned for East Pier.

They reckon the red, blue and grey hut it is out of keeping with the Listed harbour and its historic surrounds.

Leader Charles Wild told the plans committee it looked more like portable cabin.

"It certainly won't improve the look of the East Pier," he said.

Chairman Ros Kayes said if the lifeguard service was continued after this summer's trial then she hoped they would build something "more appropriate" as a long-term structure.

Although the committee agreed not to lodge a formal objection to the application - which will be determined by West Dorset Council later this month - they expressed their disappointment at the design.

Members added: "While possibly acceptable in the short term, in view of improving safety provision, it is hoped that in the long term a better design solution can be found."

The RNLI are trialling their lifeguard service at West Bay, Charmouth and Lyme Regis for the first time this summer.

They are seeking planning permission to use the "off the shelf" huts between July and September.

Lifeguard Press Officer Amy Caldwell stressed they were only temporary.

She said: "Should a longer contract be forthcoming the RNLI are willing to work with the local planners to provide bespoke huts, should there be local objection to the style being trialed.

"The units will be used as observation posts and shelter for two lifeguards as well as having first aid facilities and room to store equipment."

In it's application for the kiosk the RNLI says it recognises that West Bay is an unspoiled seaside resort and fishing port.

"It is surrounded by beautiful coastline and countryside and the area has now been awarded World Heritage Site status, in the heart of the Jurassic Coast," they say.

"It was consequently considered important to produce a structure that would be visible and recognisable landmark that is attractive and in keeping with the image of West Bay.

"It was also important to consider people's perception of what a lifeguard station should look likeit was unanimously agreed that the public's perception is based around the Californian lifeguard towers.

"The final design of the unit is traditional - with a modern twist, with tinted blue Windows, light grey exterior cladding and a bull nosed red coloured fascia. The colour selection is in keeping with a range of lightly coloured permanent buildings along the seafront. The light grey exterior was chosen to reduce glare during bright days and blend into the surroundings in the evening."