New beach huts one step closer with consultation

Beach huts at Southsea
Beach huts at Southsea

Portsmouth City Council unveils its £4m budget-trimming plan

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NEW beach huts could appear at sites along the seafront after a senior councillor approved plans to look into increasing their numbers.

Last night, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, Luke Stubbs, agreed to look into more beach huts and short-term holiday accommodation along the Southsea and Eastney seafront.

At a meeting in Portsmouth City Council’s civic centre, Cllr Stubbs said a consultation will now take place. Council staff will work on plans for beach huts at up to five sites.

A previous application for 100 new huts at Eastney beach was met with a number of objections.

In the most recent review, the authority says a revised scheme of 24 new huts is being put forward.

Now that Cllr Stubbs has approved the proposal, an ecological survey will be done on the area.

Sites at Canoe Lake and south of Eastern Parade golf course are also being seriously considered as new homes for huts.

The number to run adjacent to Southsea Beach Cafe, south of Canoe Lake and on the beach by the golf course will now be looked into.

Other areas being considered, for which plans are less advanced, are at Esplanade and Lumps Fort.

There are more than 75 beach huts in blocks around Lumps Fort.

But the authority states these are ‘tired’ and all could be replaced.

Designs for the Lumps Fort site will look at how many huts would be suitable for the area.

Another option the authority will now explore is to introduce short-term accommodation, with a site at Ferry Road being identified.

At the meeting, Cllr Stubbs said: ‘I’m quite happy with the report and to continue with it.’

He said a four-week consultation will be held alongside a separate issue around the restoration and management on the habitat on Eastney beach.

The authority is conducting a survey on council tax and budget priorities where building more beach huts is listed as a possible way of increasing the council’s revenue.

The council faces £37m cut in funding.