Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 12:58 UK

Naturists lose battle for beach

A beach in Suffolk which has welcomed naturists for 30 years is to close.

The sands at Corton in Lowestoft have eroded since the naturist beach was established by Waveney District Council in the mid-1970s.

Visitors now have little access to the beach without entering the designated naturist area, the council said, adding the changes would begin on 1 November.

British Naturism said the decision was disappointing but added that it would work with the council.

The decision follows a three-month public consultation, and the council said it would look for alternative facilities for naturists.

Alternative site

During the consultation, 89% of local respondents agreed with the proposed de-designation of the beach, while nationally 92% of respondents were against it.

Allan Kidney, British Naturism's regional spokesman, said: "The figures from the consultation have been used as a referendum of the local people who chose to respond and the arguments and views of others have counted for very little. Beaches are of national importance.

"We are pleased Waveney District Council will try to find an alternative. It is essential that one be found before the present site is de-designated to ensure continuity of naturist use in the area."

Councillor Ken Sale said: "This decision was always going to be the right answer for some and the wrong one for others but it was important that we weighed up all the facts and settled on an outcome which we believe is most appropriate.

"While there was clear support for the retention of the facility amongst respondents from around the country and abroad, nearly 90% of responses from Corton and Lowestoft asked for de-designation."

Signs will be placed on the beach informing visitors of the changes.

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