Anger at u-turn on beach hut clearance

THEY thought they had won – but today the threat of eviction for beach hut owners has returned.Victorious celebrations appear to be premature as the Manor End chalet owners in Felixstowe have been informed an unlucky few could still lose their hut by the sea.

THEY thought they had won – but today the threat of eviction for beach hut owners has returned.

Victorious celebrations appear to be premature as the Manor End chalet owners in Felixstowe have been informed an unlucky few could still lose their hut by the sea.

They will have their huts moved further south to an area beset by frequent flooding that has wrecked a number of huts on previous occasions.

Letters sent to beach hut owners from Suffolk Coastal District Council state that "some repossession of the south sea front beach huts […] will be necessary to create a more attractive site. They would be concentrated at the southern end of the site. It is envisaged that the majority of the beach huts will be retained in the long term."

Basil Double, who owns a beach hut on the contentious site, said he was worried what the council meant by moving huts to the southern end.

"As far as I'm concerned it is the stretch to the manor house. There are already 28 huts there and it is obviously full and the council took away two of them because they were washed away.

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"We have had one storm or part of a storm and the area where they want to put them has heaped up with stones. It shows the folly of trying to put grasses there."

Two weeks ago the council made a u-turn on plans to clear and replant the hut site with coastal grasses as part of the proposed multi-million pound south seafront housing project.

It appears now that the council have not completely scrapped the plans but are instead considering down-sizing the number of evictions.

Brian Godbold, another worried hut owner, said: "They must have some idea of where they are going to go. I would like them to come and see us.

"Some of us are quite sensible people and professional people, let's have a meeting about this. It would be nice and we can put our points over."

A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said: "It is too early in the process to get in to detail. It is all up for discussion. We will see. I think the wording is the majority will stay. How big a majority that is who knows - time will tell.

"While the exact location for the beach huts has yet to be agreed, people should be reassured that the goal is to find a safe and secure place for the huts."

www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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