BEACHGOERS will be offered the chance to go wakeboarding, waterskiing and ride banana boats in Lyme Regis this summer.

West Dorset District Council has given permission for Lyme Bay Rib Charter to run a watersports business from the North Wall from Easter 2018.

The town council was due to discuss whether to allow the company to put a gazebo on the western end of the sand beach as a sales point.
They have asked to use a small portion of the beach for a 3m by 3m gazebo, two flags and a portable box for wetsuits, water skis and wakeboards.

A report set to go before town councillors at a meeting of the highways and management committee last night said that siting the gazebo on the beach could provide income for the town council, as the company would pay a fee.

The report states: “If members agree to the proposal, officers will negotiate a suitable fee, but guidance is sought from members on what is an appropriate amount.”

If permission is not granted, Lyme Bay Rob Charter will site the sales point on the north wall instead.

In a supporting letter published in the agenda to last night’s meeting, Lyme Bay Rib Charter said the company has been operating in West Bay seasonally since 2000 and full time since 2003, and has established itself as a ‘respected tourism activity’, winning the Best Dorset Tourism Award for experience/activity two years running, as well as other accolades.

The letter adds: “An operation offering RIB rides has been trading from Lyme Harbour for three to four years and several fishing/mackerel fishing boats are established already, we looked to open a business that is unique to Lyme Regis and not in direct competition with anyone else.In 2018 LBRC will be running a watersports operation from Lyme Regis Harbour including water skiing, wake boarding, towed rings and towed banana rides. We have had meetings with both the Harbour Master and head of tourism and leisure at WDDC, both of whom are in favour of the proposed business.”

A gazebo on the beach would ‘maximise our trading opportunity’, the letter adds.

The company has pledged to ensure all kit is removed and the area cleaned and tidied at the end of each working day. The business will run from Easter until the end of September, initially only on weekends and school breaks, with daily trading starting in July.