PLANS for Swanage RNLI’s new £3.5million lifeboat station have been lodged with district officials.

The base is needed to house the charity’s £1.5million Shannon Class lifeboat, which is the latest jet-propelled vessel in the RNLI’s fleet and is expected to arrive in Swanage in 2016.

The 25-knot all weather Shannon is larger than Swanage’s current Mersey Class Robert Charles lifeboat, which is nearing the end of its operational life.

Purbeck District Council’s planning department will now consider the proposals for the new lifeboat base, which – if agreed – will replace the existing boathouse in Peveril Point Road, which has been used by the RNLI for 138 years.

RNLI divisional operations manager Richard Weeks said: “The new lifeboat station plans were conceived not only to provide the extra space needed to accommodate the new Shannon lifeboat, but also to upgrade the volunteer crew’s facilities to a standard befitting the next generation of lifesavers.”

In July, last year, an appeal was launched to help fund the new station, which will also include a mechanic workshop, training room and office space.

Two months ago lifeboat fundraisers celebrated collecting more than half of the £200,000 they need to secure for the new boathouse. A substantial legacy will provide a large contribution towards the cost of the building. Mr Weeks said: “The building will also utilise the latest eco-friendly technology, including a ground source heat recovery system.”

Swanage RNLI operations manager Neil Hardy said the crew were “very excited” about the plans.