PLANS to redevelop the Canford Cliffs Pavilion into a seafront café as part of a multi-million-pound scheme have been approved.

The existing shelter will be converted into a café with outdoor terraces, including a terrace on the beach.

BCP Council's plan will see the promenade levels raised to make the premises accessible without the need for a ramp.

The toilets will be refurbished, along with disabled facilities, and a new rangers station will be constructed.

Four new beach huts will also be built, while the existing ice cream kiosk will be demolished.

Initial designs did not include a replacement shelter area, with the current space lost through the remodelling of the pavilion.

However, after an outcry by members of Poole Lifeguard Open Water Swimmers (PLOWS), a new shelter was worked into the project on land currently occupied by the kiosk.

The proposal by BCP Council received permission from the local authority's own planning officers earlier this month.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, portfolio holder for tourism and active health, said: “We are pleased that planning permission has been granted to redevelop the pavilion at Canford Cliffs.

"Considerable input was taken on board from local residents and other users in the design.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Mohan IyengarCllr Mohan Iyengar

"Now the scheme will enhance this part of the seafront and encourage regular use by a wider number in the community. In particular it includes the provision of a new shelter for use by open water swimmers.

"More generally, our work in Canford Cliffs and other locations along the coast will be driven from the Seafront Strategy – into which we received a huge number of inputs that will guide us in protecting and developing things in the right way.”

The redevelopment of the site is part of a wider £7.3 million seafront investment scheme.

As reported, PLOWS members were dismayed that the council's initial designs did not include a public shelter. This was important for them as it provided a safe, dry place to store their belongings and a place to change in.

Following a report in the Daily Echo and PLOWS meeting with council officials, the local authority submitted revisions to the planning application last year to include a shelter.

The planning department granted the scheme earlier this month.

A report by officer Richard Young said: "The social and economic benefits of providing up graded hut facilities including café, seated terrace, retained shelter and changing area is consistent with the pattern of development in the area and outweighs any minor harm caused by loss of open space."

A BCP Council spokeswoman said a meeting is due to take place at the end of the month, when details may be finalised around a tender for the redevelopment and when work could begin on site.