Plans for a replacement, raised lifeguard hut that the RNLI claims will allow lifeguards to better see Lyme Regis beach when busy have been refused by town councillors.

The request for the new hut on Lyme Regis beach was discussed at a full council meeting last night.

The RNLI said a raised hut would enable lifeguards to see more of the front beach when it is busy and have a much better view of the water.

A report which went before the council last night stated: “This was considered by [the RNLI] to be an important safety enhancement.”

The request was discussed by the town management and highways committee in November, and councillors decided that more information was needed about the size and design of the proposed raised station before a final decision could be made.

The RNLI recently provided the additional information, and said it had hoped to build something similar to what is on Weymouth central beach.

The hut would be removed when not in use during the winter months, and would operate from July to September in the same location to the existing hut.

But town councillors said the new hut was too large and was 'ugly and unnecessary.'

The report stated: “The station would be raised about 1m above beach (sand) level; the legs appearing much longer in the originally submitted drawings because of the significant section requiring to be driven into the sand to ensure a stable platform.”

In a submission to the council, an RNLI spokesman said: “Lyme Regis lifeguards deal with frequent first aids (both minor and major incidents) and missing persons throughout the summer months.

“An elevated lifeguard unit will allow beach users to see them more effectively, as well as the lifeguards themselves being able to monitor bathers and water users more efficiently.

“The speed of re-uniting missing and found children and vulnerable adults will be improved as the lifeguards will have better observational capabilities over the beach population, as well as their base being more visible amongst the crowds.

“Similarly there have been occasions where the beach has had to be cleared ready for casualty evacuations via air ambulance; the public address system installed in the elevated lifeguard unit will provide greater efficiency when informing the public during such an event.”

The report adds that the number of people visiting Front Beach over May half term during Whitsun has also ‘grown noticeably’ over the last few years and that there is potential for the lifeguard service to be extended over this time, with weekend cover until peak season begins in July.

Cllr John Broom said he was not against the hut in principle, but objected to the size of the proposed new hut. "I think it's horrendous," he said. "This structure is not necessary."

Cllr Cheryl Reynolds agreed, saying the new hut was 'far too big.'

Cllr Jeff Scowen initially warned against refusing the hut but admitted he had been 'swayed' by fellow councillors and the request was refused.

The meeting of the full council was held in the Guildhall, Bridge Street, last night.