A popular Brighton seafront attraction has applied for permission to keep using its current premises while searching for a new location.
The Beach Box Sauna has temporary planning permission to operate until the end of next month at Banjo Groyne, close to the Volk’s Electric Railway sheds.
It moved to Banjo Groyne from the nearby Sea Lanes site when building work started on the new pool there which is due to open soon.
The business has applied to Brighton and Hove City Council for a two-year extension to allow time to find a new base and negotiate a lease.
Beach Box Sauna director Liz Watson said: “We were previously located at Brighton Sea Lanes, from 2018, and ran very successfully.
“We have been trading from the current site since the beginning of 2022 – first on a 56-day ‘permitted development’ basis and later on the current temporary planning permission.
“The council’s seafront officer has confirmed that we can have an extended licence to trade from the site for the further two years – subject to getting planning permission.”
Ms Watson said that the business had 10 staff and 15,000 clients, with many customers staying in the area to the benefit of other local traders. It operates from four repurposed horse boxes around a fire pit.
Two letters have been sent to the council in support of the application and one by an objector.
The objector, whose details were redacted by the council, complained about smoke from the sauna’s stoves and said that it adversely affected the view along the seafront.
The objector said: “Permission for this business to operate from the beach was denied last year and they were given 18 months of operations to give them time to find a more suitable home.
“They appear to have failed and now are asking to use the beach for a further two years.
“While I support their business, this is not the best location for it. It’s on the beach below our Regency seafront and is not compatible with the Regency views.”
The objector wrote that it was the southernmost business on the beach and affected views from the Marina and cliffs to the pier.
And the letter added: “The owners appear to have little regard for the environment and create smoke and noxious fumes from their sauna stoves and the open fire pit that burns pretty much 24/7.
“There should be an environmental impact study done.
“The beach line needs to be protected and just because this business can’t find another location should be no reason to extend their stay.”
The supporting letters praised the business for its health and community benefits. One of the project’s supporters, whose details were also redacted, said: “The team have also created a great community space where they host so many other fitness and healthy activities.
“I also love that it sits in harmony within the environment and has an eco focus. It has inspired many other places to create a similar set up that it would be great to see Beach Box have a secure home.”
To view or comment on the planning application, go to the planning portal on the council’s website and search for BH2023/00451.