Proposal to remove Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach from the list of bathing waters

Closed 30 Sep 2015

Opened 10 Aug 2015


The Bathing Water Directive protects bathers' health at popular beaches and inland waters by requiring water quality to be monitored for intestinal enterococci and E.coli during the bathing season, which in England runs from 15 May to 30 September. The Directive applies to waters that are used by a large number of bathers and where bathing is supported and promoted by the local authority or private owner. There are currently 406 beaches and 12 lakeside sites in England that are designated as bathing waters.

If a bathing water is de-designated, for example because of low usage or safety concerns, sampling for compliance with Bathing Water Directive standards would cease and there would be no further investment specifically directed at meeting these standards. There would no longer be a legal requirement for public information about water quality to be provided.

Other measures are in place to protect the water environment generally, including the Water Framework Directive, the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

Why your views matter

During summer 2014 Defra commissioned a survey of beach usage at Church Cliff Beach in Lyme Regis because it has been anecdotally reported to have been little used for bathing over several years. The objective was to assess whether it should remain on the list of designated bathing waters.

We would like to know your views on whether the beach should be removed from the list of bathing waters on the basis of low usage for bathing, and whether you have any additional evidence about how it is used. The consultation document gives information from the survey about the level of usage and the facilities available.

The consultation will be open until 30 September 2015.  Your response can be submitted through the online survey, or by email or by post to the contact details below:


Post:  Bathing Water team


            Nobel House, Area 3D

            17 Smith Square


             SW1P 3JR




What happens next

We are now analysing the responses to the consultation and we will announce the decision on whether Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach will be removed from the list of designated bathing waters before the beginning of the 2016 bathing season.


  • Environmental campaigners
  • Coastal local authorities
  • Recreation sector
  • Coastal Management sector
  • Families
  • Leisure industry
  • Tourism industry


  • Water quality
  • Bathing waters