Fate of beach huts in their hands
THESE are the eight people who hold the fate of Felixstowe's much-loved Manor End beach huts in their hands.These councillors – five of them from the resort – are in charge of the development of the south seafront and could today, if they wished, order the eviction of the chalets to be stopped.
THESE are the eight people who hold the fate of Felixstowe's much-loved Manor End beach huts in their hands.
These councillors – five of them from the resort – are in charge of the development of the south seafront and could today, if they wished, order the eviction of the chalets to be stopped.
The hut owners have vowed to fight on the beaches to keep their sites.
Now it is a case of never have so few owed held so much hope for so many.
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And tonight The Evening Star urges these councillors to think very carefully about the huts – and the immense damage it will do to the town's good reputation if they throw them off the site.
The Star says these councillors should look again at once at the development plan, and take the sensible and reasonable route – and change their minds.
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One of them is a beach hut owner, although at the other end of the prom, and can surely imagine the heartbreak if he was told his site was to be taken away.
Removing the Manor End huts will take away great pleasure enjoyed by exactly the sort of families Felixstowe wants to attract.
Families who have been regular and faithful visitors to the town for many years – some of them up to 50 years – who have enjoyed the seaside as children, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
They are not people who make a one-off trip to the seaside occasionally, people who might come to look at a new development as a daytrip out of curiosity and not return.
These are people of all ages – young and old – who spend almost every weekend at Felixstowe, the type the town's tourism trade desperately needs.
There is also no good reason to get rid of the huts because the shingle strip on which the wooden chalets stand cannot be built on.
It is on the seaward-side of the sea wall and even the huts have to stand up to the wrath of the winds and waves each year.
It is adding insult to injury that the enjoyment of families for many years is to be cruelly taken away and replaced with coastal plants and grasses, which will soon be damaged by vandals or washed away by the sea.
The real reason is easy to spot – simply that the huts will not fit in and developer Bloor Homes thinks they will be unsightly for the people who will live in their new properties.
Beach huts though are a traditional part of our seaside heritage, and one of the things a householder ought to expect when looking out onto the seafront.
So come on, Suffolk Coastal, think again. A change of heart now would show a responsible council and one which really did listen to the people instead of riding roughshod over them just to get a problem site developed before the elections.