BCP Council (Christchurch area): Chris Miell is thrilled to announced that he has recently secured planning permission for a new sauna at Avon Beach, Mudeford, Christchurch.

The proposed sauna will be operated by our clients the Saltwater Sauna, who have been successfully operating an existing sauna in Sandbanks for over two years.

Due to the popularity of the existing sauna and the demand for additional sauna facilities, the Saltwater Sauna have chosen to expand their offering to the Christchurch area. The approved development will be located on the promenade at Avon Beach, near to the existing facilities.

To facilitate the approved development, six vacant beach huts will be demolished. The new sauna will be bespoke structure, which has been designed to create a high-quality sustainable development that respects the coastal landscape and exceeds the Council’s policy requirement of representing good design.

As shown by the approved plans, the bespoke design is a contemporary interpretation of the traditional beach huts along Avon Beach. The roof form has five pitched elements, which are frame on the front elevation with timber reveals. This detail provides articulation and ensures that the proposal aligns with the rhythm of the adjoining beach huts.

Due to the site constraints (conservation area, protected trees to the rear and flood zone), prior to submission of the current application, we engaged in pre-application discussions with BCP Council. These were constructive and resulted in minor changes to the final plans, which enabled the planning application to be determined in a prompt manner.

The Saltwater Sauna offer an authentic Finnish wood-fired sauna experience, which attracts tourists and locals, and likeminded sauna and sea swimming enthusiasts from all walks of life. The positioning of the sauna near to the beach is essential and allows users to partake in ‘Contrast Therapy’, a technique involving with Nordic origins which consists of a 15-minute sauna, followed by a cold-water dip (repeated).

Aside from the health benefits from using the sauna, the development also contributes positively to function of Avon Beach as a key tourist destination, making best use of its unique beachfront location, its customer offer and ensuring the business remains profitable and BCP’s economy remains prosperous.

The planning application received significant public support from local residents and visitors (289 letters of support), with the Council’s Destination and Culture team noting that “The saltwater sauna will be a positive asset to the destination and tourism offer and we would therefore have no objections to this application”.

The Planning Officer concluded with her report that “the scale and design of the proposed structure will incorporate well with the adjacent huts and will subsequently preserve the character and appearance of the Conservation Area including the coastal setting.”

Our client was delighted with this decision and they are looking forward to opening the new sauna at Avon Beach. If you would like to pursue a commerical development, then why not call Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk to see how we can help you.