Beach huts removed from seafront
DOZENS of beach huts which are smashed and flooded by the waves every winter are today being removed from their seafront site.Owners say they have had their licences terminated and there are no alternative sites available - but council officials are hoping the huts can return when new sea defences are in place.
DOZENS of beach huts which are smashed and flooded by the waves every winter are today being removed from their seafront site.
Owners say they have had their licences terminated and there are no alternative sites available - but council officials are hoping the huts can return when new sea defences are in place.
In other parts of Felixstowe huts sell for up to £20,000 and even on the south beach can make £4,000, but now the 32 huts at the West End are virtually worthless - being moved now to protect them from damage from high tides expected this weekend and also any tidal surges during the winter months.
Initially, they have been moved to the back of the car park in Sea Road, but will be stored later at the Herman de Stern site.
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A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal said: “Recently the council commissioned its engineering consultants to conduct a survey on the West End site to consider whether beach huts could continue to be safely sited there as some of the huts have been damaged four times this year by high tides.
“The expert opinion was that the site was currently not safe to accommodate the 32 huts due to the potential damage to the sea wall when the huts are buffeted by the sea.
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“They did advise that the site would eventually be less vulnerable once the major sea defence work and beach replenishment has been carried out.
“The council has been working non-stop to ensure that the funding is available for the multi-million pound permanent defence works for Felixstowe south, and we are hopeful that there will be good news in the near future.”
Hut owners were given the choice of having their hut moved by the council, free of charge, to be stored on the site of the old Herman De Stern building, or making their own arrangements for the removal and storage of their hut.
Because of the popularity of beach huts, there are no alternative sites along Felixstowe at present, and the huts cannot be returned until the coastal defence works have been completed.
The affected hut owners are being paid back any outstanding amounts on their annual licence and rates and will be notified as soon as it is safe to put the chalets back on their original sites.
One hut owner said: “We can see why the council is doing this because that area gets flooded every time there is a big tide but now we have no hut site and we still don't know what is going to happen in the future. We feel very upset.”
Do you think the huts should be moved? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk