PLANS to build an octagonal shape ‘lighthouse’ on Minehead seafront have sparked protests by local councillors and conservationists.

Melanie Rose, who runs the Jubilee Gardens Cafe, in The Esplanade, wants to revamp a crazy golf course alongside the property.

The course currently features a kiosk in the form of a representation of the National Trust-owned Dunster Castle and Mrs Rose applied for planning permission to replace it with a 24-feet high timber clad lighthouse.

Planning agent Adam Elston, of Architectural Studio SW Ltd, said the crazy golf course was formed using painted fibreglass molds in the shape of local attractions, with the kiosk used to collect golf clubs and balls.

Mr Elston said: “The proposed lighthouse would form part of the final hole for the golf course and where customers would collect the golf clubs and balls.

“The kiosk is also used as storage and to sell snacks and refreshments.

“The existing ‘Dunster Castle’ kiosk is in poor condition and requires replacement.

A drawing of a lighthouse which is proposed for a crazy golf course on Minehead seafront.
A drawing of a lighthouse which is proposed for a crazy golf course on Minehead seafront. (Architectural Studio SW Ltd)

“The applicant wishes to erect a replacement kiosk that is more in keeping with the seafront theme, and a replica lighthouse would be a relevant option in this location.

“The lighthouse has been based on the historic Watchet lighthouse that aids the entrance into the marina.”

However, Minehead town councillors and members of Minehead Conservation Society objected to the lighthouse because of its size.

The conservation society said it did not oppose an alternative to the castle structure but the lighthouse was ‘out of all proportion in scale and height to its setting within the cafe grounds’.

Society secretary Jon Collis said in a letter the site was in a conservation area and close to both Victorian and Edwardian listed buildings.

A 24 feet lighthouse would have ‘a huge detrimental impact’ on the low-key golf course and even dwarf the cafe building which was originally a bandstand built to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V in 1935.

Mr Collis said the society had funded and carefully designed the nearby clocktower and fingerpost to sit comfortably within the conservation area.

He said: “It would be travesty if that sensitivity was to be undermined by the proposed out of scale structure.

“A down-sized beach hut or replica bathing machine might be considered to be more appropriate. Minehead once had both of these, but not a lighthouse.”

Since the objections, Mrs Rose has reduced the height of the lighthouse to just under 10 feet, which the conservation society said would be acceptable.

Town councillors will meet on Tuesday (May 2) to reconsider their views on the application with the reduced size of the proposed lighthouse.