Beach huts and ice-cream plan to bring in money

Havant MP Alan Mak with FatFace chief executive Anthony Thompson and infrastructure director Simon Ratcliffe

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MORE beach huts, a pitch and putt, kite surfing and extra ice cream vans are all being looked at to keep council tax down.

Councillors in Fareham last night approved plans which will pave the way for more huts and an increase in catering concessions, such as ice-cream vans.

The council also agreed to look into introducing a kite surfing licence at Hill Head, pitch and putt at Portchester Castle and increasing the amount of seating at The Shack in Monks Hill.

At present the waiting list for beach huts in Fareham is frozen. It was closed in August 2003 as there were over 400 people waiting up to 50 years.

The lucky Fareham residents who have a beach hut pay around £300 a year and those that do not live in Fareham pay double.

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘There’s a demand for beach huts which the council cannot satisfy. Obviously we will be conscious of the environmental issue of where we put them but we certainly need to have a few more.’

Last night, councillors agreed to look at putting seven huts at Cliff Road and six at Meon Shore.

Hill Head Residents’ Association raised concerns, about some of the plans, as did Hill Head Sailing Club.

The objections led to some sites being thrown out by the council, including putting more beach huts at Monks Hill car park and Hill Head

Through these plans, the council hopes to achieve around £30,000 per year which Cllr Woodward said would ‘help to maintain current levels of council tax’.

It will look at increasing catering concessions, including a further concession at Meon Shore, an ice-cream van at Cliff Road, an xtended licence at Passage Lane for an ice-cream van, a mobile catering site at Holly Hill car park and winter concessions at Stubbington Rec and Portchester Castle.

Stubbington ward councillor Jim Forrest is concerned that allowing the van which parks outside Crofton Court to trade during the winter would mean an increase in litter.

He said: ‘In principle, the council getting an increase in income from its land is a good idea but it needs to regard the needs of residents nearby and take steps so that it does not become a litter problem.’

The council will investigate the environmental impact and, in some cases, submit planning applications.