A PETITION has been started to save the sauna at Seatown Beach – after it was included in a, rejected,  planning application along with three food vans.

Dorset Council turned down all of the applications, including for the sauna which has been in place for three years.

They claim all of the applications would be detrimental to the Heritage Coast.

But sauna users are now backing a petition to support a fresh application to allow the sauna  to stay.

Said Gary Brady from the Bridport area in a social media post: “It’s a vital part of the community and a great asset to visitors to the area.

“I’ve been using the sauna weekly for a few years and it’s benefits to my health and well-being are very noticeable .This is a small business set up by someone who has lived here their whole life and should be supported.”

The online change.org petition has already attracted 1,500 signatures since it was launched on February 18th following the Dorset planning decision.

Said Sarah Higgins, who runs the Seaside Sauna Haus: “We are very privileged in West Dorset to have such natural beauty right at our doorstep.

"As the tourist season fades and beaches empty, we find solace in the moody skies and connection with our landscape.

"The Seaside Sauna Haus on Seatown beach is not just a structure; it's a beacon of wellness that encourages this connection all year round, even into the depths of winter…

“The sauna symbolises slowing down, recouping and recharging through heating the body and cooling outside. It offers warmth, social interaction, and all the physical & mental health benefits of authentic wood-fired sauna bathing.

"Regular sauna use can reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases and improve overall wellbeing (Harvard Health Publishing) and so many regular sauna goers over the last 3 years at Seatown beach I know will have their own stories to share as to the benefits they have received from coming regularly to our little communal seaside sauna.”

She says that the retrospective planning application was submitted by the landowner for the sauna along with the other traders to continue to trade on the beach. However as a whole the planning proposal was rejected.

“I am now looking submit my own separate planning application for the sauna, as it is a unique asset for enhancing mental and physical wellbeing, access to nature and reducing isolation in our community. All essential factors that need to be encouraged in these times.

“I want to keep the physical set up exactly as I am currently, no extra frills or developments. Just how I've traded over the last three years."

The petition can be found here