A planned refugee shelter in Germany has sparked protests over fears it could prevent members of a nudist club from being naked in public. Members of the Familiensport-und FKK-Bund Waldteichfreunde Moritzburg club, near the town of Meissen, north-western Germany, reacted with outrage after authorities told them they would no longer be allowed to swim naked in the local lake.

Authorities explained the ban was due to the fact that a shelter to house 112 refugees was being built on the other side of the lake.

"We've been naked on this ground since 1905," Petra Hoffmann, the treasurer of the 400-member club, told the Bild newspaper.

Local authorities acknowledged the nudists' concerns but claimed there was no other location available for the refugee shelter. "We need the shelter. There is no other central facility for asylum-seekers in the entire county," Helena Musal, a spokesman for the council said.

Authorities also gave the club a list of rules on swimming etiquette members should observe to respect asylum seekers.

The nudists, however, said they intended to keep swimming naked claiming that their way of life, known as Freikorperkultur, or Free Body Culture, was under threat. They also requested a protective screen so that they could continue to swim naked.

Germany received the highest number of asylum applications last year, after publicly announcing it was willing to take a million migrants.

Earlier in May, German public service broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk reported that increasing numbers of Germans were moving to Hungary to flee the refugee crisis.

Nudist Swimmer
Nudists claim their way of life 'Freikorperkultur, or Free Body Culture' was under threat Reuters