PLANS to improve the “major gateway” to Poole’s beaches have been given the go-ahead.

The £650,000 scheme will see a new watersports centre, beach office and catering kiosk built, as well as two new beach huts for public hire and refurbished toilets and showers.

Purbeck stone sculptured seating will also be installed.

In a design and access statement accompanying its planning application, Poole council said Shore Road was “an important entrance to Poole seafront and one of the main places for people seeking beautiful views and taking photographs.”

They added: “The public buildings and services are outdated, in poor repair, unwelcoming and under used.

“Our aspiration is to change this space and give it a much better sense of arrival and welcome to the area.”

However, a number of people who belong to local sea swimming clubs have expressed concerns over the smaller changing room area that is planned.

The scheme is part of the council’s £6.6m seafront regeneration programme, which includes £1.2m additional funding from the Coastal Communities Fund through the Dorset Coastal Connections portfolio.

Artist Amanda Moore was commissioned to work with Simon Morgan, of Morgan Design Studio, on the project. Work is due to start in the autumn. Three other sites along Poole’s seafront have already or will be renovated as part of the project, including Flaghead Chine, Branksome Chine and Canford Cliffs.