Devon

Budleigh Salterton nudist beach bid defeated

  • 14 March 2016
  • From the section Devon
Beach Image copyright Google
Image caption The 'clothing optional' section of Budleigh Salterton beach is 500 yards from Steamer Steps

Naturists have lost their bid to extend the clothes-free area of a beach - after the existing section was rendered "too uncomfortable" to sit on.

There had been calls to increase the length of Budleigh Salterton's nudist beach by 200 yards (183m), after the tide washed away pebbles and left hard "bedrock" behind.

But Budleigh Salterton town council argued it was possible to put a "towel or lilo down" within the existing section.

It voted against the move.

Mayor Courtney Richards said the decision was a "victory" for local people.

"We were asked if the boundary could be moved by 200 yards closer to the town," Councillor Richards said.

"The majority of the pebbles have gone and you have bedrock underneath.

"But there are still places where you can put a towel or lilo down without the boundary having to come closer to the town."

Town councillors voted against the move at a foreshore and footpaths committee meeting on 7 March.

Cllr Richards said: "The majority of the town were angry with the suggestion and the majority won."

The traditionally "nude" section of Budleigh beach begins 500 yards west of Steamer Steps.

It was "never intended to be a nudist beach," Cllr Richards said.

"Years ago teenagers would swim there in the nude and put on clothes as soon as they got out the water."

But the trend grew and it was officially designated by the council.