PLANS for the redevelopment of the Canford Cliffs Pavilion into a seaside cafe as part of a multi-million pound scheme have been approved.
The existing shelter will be transformed into a café with outdoor terraces, including a terrace on the beach.
The BCP Council plan will see the levels of the promenade raised to make the premises accessible without the need for a ramp.
Restrooms will be upgraded, along with disabled facilities, and a new ranger station will be constructed.
Four new beach huts will also be built, while the existing ice cream stand will be demolished.
Initial designs did not include a replacement shelter area, with the current space being lost to the pavilion renovation.
However, after an outcry from members of Poole Lifeguard Open Water Swimmers (PLOWS), a new shelter was incorporated into the scheme on land currently occupied by the gazebo.
The BCP Council’s proposal received clearance from the local authority’s own planning officers earlier this month.
Councilor Mohan Iyengar, Tourism and Active Health Portfolio Holder, said: “We are delighted that planning permission has been granted to redevelop the Canford Cliffs Pavilion.
“A considerable input has been taken into account by local residents and other users in the design.
“Now the project will improve this part of the waterfront and encourage regular use by more members of the community. This includes the provision of a new shelter for the use of open water swimmers.
“More generally, our work at Canford Cliffs and other places along the coast will be guided by the Seafront Strategy – in which we have received a large number of inputs which will guide us in the protection and development of things the right way.”
The redevelopment of the site is part of a wider £7.3 million seaside investment programme.
As noted, PLOWS members were appalled that the council’s initial designs did not include a public shelter. This was important to them as it provided a safe, dry place to store their belongings and a place to change.
Following a report at the Daily Echo and PLOWS meeting with council officials, the local authority submitted revisions to the planning application last year to include shelter.
The planning department awarded the program earlier this month.
A report by Officer Richard Young said: “The social and economic benefits of providing improved hut facilities, including a cafe, seating terrace, restrained shelter and changing room, are in line with the pattern of development in area and outweighs any minor damages caused by loss of open space.”
A BCP Council spokeswoman said a meeting was due to take place at the end of the month when details could be finalized around a tender for the redevelopment and when work could start on the site.