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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Lifeboat plans for home by sea
The Llandudno lifeboat
The Llandudno lifeboat has been pulled through the streets since the old station was opened in 1903.
A public meeting has been held in Llandudno to discuss plans for a new home for the town's lifeboat.

It is the only lifeboat in the UK which has to be pulled through the streets from the existing boathouse to the waterfront.

But the RNLI will eventually upgrade the existing boat with a larger vessel, leading to plans for a new boathouse near the beach.

Some local traders and hoteliers fear it will be an eyesore and hit tourism.

One trader said: "When people come to Llandudno, they say how lovely and gorgeous the front is, and now they want to put a great garage right next to it."

Punch and Judy man Morris Millband said: "Let's face it, our trade will be hit. If I have a show on and the lifeboat is called out, I can't tell the children not to look at the lifeboat."

Some have also questioned the positioning of the new station near the pier, claiming it could have safety implications as it would be too close to holidaymakers.

Ray Evans of the Llandudno lifeboat service denied it would disrupt tourism or be any safety threat.

A larger station to cover Llandudno is needed to accommodate the new class of boat.

He said: "If we can't move we'll have to move our all-weather service from Llandudno, apart from the little rubber boat we have.

"We'll have to offer an all-weather service from Rhyl or Moelfre, but it will take longer for them to get [to Llandudno]."

Mr Evans said the RNLI had boathouses in other parts of the UK, which were tourist attractions in themselves, while the new Llandudno station would be "tucked away" on a stretch of reclaimed beach.

Around 200 people attended the public meeting on Wednesday night and most backed the proposals.

The plans will be submitted to Conwy council in a few months time.

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