ANGRY residents have spoken out against plans to introduce a wave of new beach huts along Southsea seafront to generate more cash.
Portsmouth City Council has drawn up proposals for 73 huts in three sites; near the Canoe Lake toilets, on the beach by St George’s Road and to the west of existing ones on Eastney beach.
If I was a grandfather who wanted to bring my grandchildren down to those huts, the only thing I would think is there’s a road only 30 yards away.Angry resident speaking at East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum
The proposals to set up new huts for rent would net the authority around £60,000 a year – at a time when it faces more cuts in funding.
But people at last night’s East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum were furious with the proposals.
Fears were raised over public safety given the huts near Canoe Lake will face onto the road.
Tory planning boss Luke Stubbs, who presented the plans, said there was ‘no alternative’ site and revealed no risk assessment would need to be carried out should the huts be approved.
One outraged resident said: ‘If I was a grandfather who wanted to bring my grandchildren down to those huts, the only thing I would think is there’s a road only 30 yards away. They are not beach huts, they are road huts.’
The impact the plans could have on the environment was also a concern.
John Holland, of the Portsmouth Society, said: ‘The beach is a unique wildlife habitat. It would be sad to see it go.’
Leon Reis, neighbourhood forum chairman, asked for a show of hands to see who was for and against the plans – with the overwhelming majority not being in favour.
Lib Dem councillor Matthew Winnington vowed to make sure the council’s planning committee would make the final decision, and it wouldn’t be railroaded through by officers.
Cllr Stubbs assured the freehold of the huts would not be sold to bring in extra money.
If approved, the huts could be built next spring. The applications are on the council’s website for residents to view and add their comments.