Nudism at Sidmouth?

Controversial plans to turn a strip of Sidmouth beach into a paid-for nudist colony were unveiled today.

A private leisure company has been in undercover talks with East Devon District Council (EDDC) about plans to purchase part of the sea-front to allow private bathers to bare all close to Jacob’s Ladder.

Federation for Unified Nudists wants to charge naked sun-seekers up to �10-a-day for the privilege and could descend on the beach as soon as this summer.

Asked about the problems of opening a nudist beach so close to the main sea-front, FUN spokesman Julie Japes said: “We understand people could be worried about placing nude people next to a family environment but we have been looking into some sort of screen to block off Jacob’s Ladder from the rest of the beach, which would also help us control who we let into the new facility”.

The firm say their research shows there is a market for more nudist beaches in East Devon, despite the fact that Sidmouth is flanked by well-known naturist spots in Budleigh Salterton and at Weston Mouth. They hope to create a ‘world-famous’ nude tourist attraction, and will reinvest the admission fees to cultivate the site, possibly shipping in sand to make the beach more attractive to sunbathers.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “The Council is all in favour of greater transparency. We try to support any reasonable business enterprise but we would have to be convinced that this is not merely naked ambition”.