Search for new nudist beach is launched

Hayley MaceWith just weeks left before one of Britain's oldest nudist beaches is axed, the search is on to find a suitable replacement spot on the north Suffolk coast.Hayley Mace

With just weeks left before one of Britain's oldest nudist beaches is axed, the search is on to find a suitable replacement spot on the north Suffolk coast.

The existing naturist beach at Corton, near Lowestoft, will become a general use area at the end of the summer season because coastal erosion has significantly reduced the amount of sand available for sunbathers.

Over the next few weeks, Waveney District Council will be speaking to local communities to try to find an alternative site along the district's coastline, which stretches from Corton in the north, past Lowestoft to Southwold.

In December last year, the council carried out a public consultation before deciding to go ahead with the plans to get rid of the naturist site and said that it would explore other potential locations which are not as badly affected by erosion.

The new nudist beach would also have to have adequate parking and transport provision, good access to the beach, not be too overlooked and have support from the local community.

Ken Sale, the council's portfolio holder for the environment, said: 'The council has been working with British Naturism to establish some important criteria for any new facility. These criteria incorporate the needs and wishes of both the naturist and local communities.

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'At this stage, we are fact finding and should any potential site meet the criteria laid down for such a facility, we will seek to explore the options further.'

The beach was founded by Waveney District Council in the mid-1970s but coastal experts say that during the last 20 years, erosion has reduced the available beach at Corton by about 80pc, meaning that there is very little sand available for general use.

When the beach at Corton is de-designated at the end of the summer, the section of beach at Holkham in North Norfolk will be the only naturist beach in the area.

British Naturism spokesman Allan Kidney said: 'We welcome this positive approach by Waveney District Council and look forward to using suitable alternative sites, with hopefully improved facilities, which do not suffer from beach erosion.

'The bye-law prohibiting nudity in Waveney has been revoked, so there are no legal obstacles to a speedy solution to the problem.

'Many naturists prefer to use the agreed locations because they are more likely to meet other like-minded people and they know their day on the beach will be hassle free.'

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