'Huts will hurt our seafront'

PUBLISHED: 07:12 20 January 2015

Possible location of beach huts at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5466-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Possible location of beach huts at Sidmouth. Ref shs 5466-03-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Archant

Ten new beach huts could help slash an eight-year waiting list in Sidmouth - but critics have claimed it is a money-grabbing move that will ruin the view on a popular walkway.

East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) cabinet backed a move for the properties - between the end of The Esplanade and Chit Rocks - when it met last week, together with plans to upgrade the 24 existing huts at Jacob’s Ladder.

Some members stressed the need for more consultation on the issue, which has already proved controversial.

Businessman Richard Eley told the Herald this week: “The suggestion of beach huts at Clifton beach need to be considered very carefully.

“The huts will have a significant impact upon the nationally renowned listed buildings of Clifton Terrace, will undermine the attractiveness of the Millennium Walkway and will be very prone to storm damage.

“I doubt that makes the proposition viable.

“There’s also the issue of further commercialisation of the seafront, which most people would regard as controversial.”

Writing on the Herald’s Facebook page, resident Penny Hartnell said: “Just another way for the council to make thousands of pounds. Why add something so unsightly to a beach that is already struggling to maintain a beautiful look, given the much needed yet ugly coastal defences.

“I would gladly sign a petition to oppose any beach hut erection.”

Graham Bishop added that the ‘first good storm’ would wash the huts away, while Nadine Howe called for them to be accessible to local people.

Moira Lascelles said: “More beach huts would be a shame.

“Seaton always looks so much better as soon as all the beach huts disappear, so why inflict them on Sidmouth as well?” Lee Solman disagreed, saying: “I can’t see the problem with beach huts on Clifton beach. Could look good.”

Supporting the plans, district councillor David Cox said: “Not surprisingly there is considerable demand for beach huts at Sidmouth, which cannot, at present, be met.

“These additional huts will give more people the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful local amenity and will enhance the new development at Jacob’s Ladder.”

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