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Saltwater Sauna Company want to put mobile sauna near Avon Beach car park in Mudeford, Christchurch

A MOBILE sauna could be wheeled out on a Christchurch beachfront for people to get steamy before taking a dip in the cooling sea.

The Saltwater Sauna Company wants to move its existing unit from Sandbanks to Avon Beach, temporarily placing it on a section of the sand near the car park.

And, in a statement for the company by Pure Town Planning, it revealed that in “due course” it wants to create a “more permanent” sauna at the beach where it would replace a number of beach huts.

The sauna would be placed near Avon Beach car park in Mudeford (picture: Google)
The sauna would be placed near Avon Beach car park in Mudeford (picture: Google)

On its website, The Saltwater Sauna Company says the unit is bookable for “private and communal experiences” and can accommodate groups of up to eight for private sessions of 60,90 and 120 minutes. The 65-minute communal session can sit up to six people.

The company says users can enjoy an “authentic Finnish experience” adding that customers can manage the ‘löyly’ – Finnish for steam rising from the stones, afterwards taking a cold shower or dip in the sea.

It says saunas offer a wealth of health benefits including providing a “steamy vessel of escapism and a place to reconnect your mind and body.”

Pure Town Planning says the sauna “aims to bring health and wellbeing benefits of combining a sea swim with a sauna to the local residents and visitors to Avon Beach as it has previously in Poole. It is considered that the proposal would sit comfortably into the seafront setting including preserving the character and appearance of the conservation area.”

But there have been two objections already to the application, both from disabled motorists, one of whom said: “It is already difficult enough for disabled residents to access the beach without having another blocker to access It will be an eyesore on the beach and will block access for disabled people.”

The other driver agreed: “The car park is too small as it is how are people who cannot walk very far going to go down to the beach if this goes ahead. We have to pay to park as it is, and I have a blue badge.”

In a heritage statement, Pure Town Planning says although the site includes “a designated heritage asset namely the Mudeford Quay conservation area, it is not considered that the proposed sauna would impede these views given the promenade is forward of the proposed position.”

It also points out that a conservation area appraisal recommended that the site where the sauna is planned should be removed from the heritage asset area.

It adds: “This part of the conservation area has a number of structures and features associated with the leisure use of the beach which have no real heritage merit including multiple beach huts, the restaurant complex and public toilets and the lifeguard hut.”

It adds: “It is considered that the proposed unit with its temporary and low-key nature and the use of natural materials would fit comfortably into this setting without harm to the characteristics of the locality.”

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