An application by clean water campaigners for a beach to be re-designated as 'safe for bathing' has been approved to go through to the next stage.

Church Cliff Beach in Lyme Regis could be re-designated as a bathing beach after Government department the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) put the beach on a list along with 26 others, which are open for public consultation.

The beach had its bathing beach status revoked in 2016 after concerns about continuous poor water quality results were raised by Lyme Regis Town Council. 

The River Lim Action group, working with the Bluetits swimming group, and Lyme Regis Town Council, has received huge support from locals and visitors for the beach’s application.

Vicki Elcoate of the River Lim Action Group said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Church Beach is moving forwards to regaining its status as a designated bathing beach.

“It’s vital for better water quality monitoring, better public information and increasing resources to clean up our river and beaches.

READ MORE: Beach in Lyme Regis achieves redesignation support

"We had to consult people and organisations locally and we had lots of volunteers monitoring the numbers of bathers during the bathing season from May to September.

“It was a lot of work, so we’re pleased to see it’s paid off and that Defra support what we’ve done so far. We now appeal to everyone who cares about our local beaches and the rights of water users to enjoy clean water to fill out the consultation."

Beverley Glock of the Lyme Regis Bluetits said: “This is brilliant. It will put more pressure on South West Water and the Environment Agency to clean up the sewage in the River Lim so the residents and holiday makers in Lyme Regis can swim in clean water.”

Malcolm Greenslade of Lyme Bay Swimming said: “It's great news that DEFRA have agreed to a public consultation on the beach re-designation after all the hard work put in over the summer by The River Lim Action Group and its supporters.

“It’s great for the local community and Lyme Regis as a popular year round resort. From a personal point of view, Church Beach holds many happy memories for me, swimming, paddling and playing in the rock pools as a child so it would be lovely to bring the beach and river back to life."

A spokesperson for DEFRA said: “Through this consultation, Defra is seeking as wide a range of views as possible to support our decision on whether the 27 proposed sites should be added to the list of designated bathing waters in England, in line with the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 and the application criteria and evidence requirements published."

To view the application, visit