Fears that new beach huts will ruin the view from the promenade

Beach huts at Eastney
Beach huts at Eastney
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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CAMPAIGNERS are fighting to stop more than 100 beach huts being built.

There is fierce opposition to the plans which they say will spoil the view for walkers, cyclists and motorists visiting Eastney Esplanade.

Portsmouth City Council has submitted an application to build the huts in phases over four years as part of the Seafront Masterplan to regenerate the area.

But John Wood, of Driftwood Gardens, Eastney, said the beach huts will spoil the view between St George’s Road and the far end of the beach.

The retired chartered engineer added: ‘If you are walking along you simply won’t see a sea view from Eastney toilet block all the way to Eastney Fort East, at the eastern end of the barracks.

‘As you turn into the esplanade – either walking, cycling, or in a car – from Bransbury Road or Henderson Road, the view is right across to the Isle of Wight.

‘If the huts go up all you will see is a 10ft wooden wall.

‘There will be no view for quite some considerable time.’

Mr Wood added: ‘It’s quite clear from the council reports the building of the beach huts will damage the ecology.

‘Certain areas of the shingle beach are of international repute and value.

‘There is plant life that is very rare indeed. Rare birds roost there in winter months and they should not be interfered with.’

And Laurie Higgins, of Selsey Avenue, said: ‘If a private company had put this application in and not Portsmouth City Council, it would be chucked out. It is unacceptable because it will ruin the views and unique flora and fauna.’

But David Evans, the seafront manager, says they will do everything they can to protect the flora and fauna.

He said: ‘We are working very closely with Natural England on this. The plan is to build 25 at a time and we will monitor whether it has any impact on the wildlife.’

He added the huts will protrude 8ft above the promenade and a wire mesh in the apex will provide an ‘optical illusion’ that you can see straight through them to the sea.

‘We’ve got four miles of seafront and we’re talking about 350 yards where the new beach huts will be,’ said Mr Evans.

He said rumours dogs will not be allowed off leads are untrue.

Representations must be made to the council by August 16.