Beach hut site is ‘too small and an eyesore’

The Proposed New Site for Beach Huts at Hill Head
The Proposed New Site for Beach Huts at Hill Head
MP for Havant, Alan Mak

MP Alan Mak named a senior parliamentary aide in government reshuffle

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THE planned site for four new beach huts has been branded ‘an eyesore’ by locals angry over the way the council has handled it.

And they say the spot is not even big enough to accommodate the huts and the families that would want to use them.

A raised concrete area and access ramp has been put in place by Fareham Borough Council on the waterfront at Hill Head on the former site of a public toilet block.

Bill Hutchison, of the Hill Head Residents Association, said they had been told the four beach huts would be put on the plot.

He said: ‘Fareham Borough Council has managed to make the most extraordinary mess of it.

‘There was no consultation before with either us or the beach hut owners.

‘There is now a 50cm high concrete plinth surrounded by large and ugly railings with a disabled access ramp right across the front of it that renders the place almost unusable.

‘We’ve measured the site and noted that a standard beach hut will not fit in the space provided unless the open doors are almost touching the railing so there will be little room for chairs outside when the doors are open.

‘The best solution would be to lower the plinth to promenade level and to reinforce the bank which the council should have done in the first place, then there would then be no need for special disabled access at all.’

Although all 180 beach huts at Hill Head are privately owned, residents of the borough must pay rent of £327 and non-residents £654 to the council each year.

They can only be resold through a council-managed list.

Percy O’Dell, of the Beach Hut Owners Association, added: ‘I have raised concerns about the way it has been tackled from the very beginning.

‘The council should have just levelled it off, made the site fully accessible and let people put individual planning applications in there. This whole cock-up is to do with health and safety.

‘It is a damned eyesore.

‘If you have got four huts there and four sets of people there, you have got no space in front of the huts, which is one of the things people like them for. If you don’t have that, it just makes them a lock-up space, like a shed.’

Planning applications will have to be submitted for any building on the site.

Neither ward councillor was available to comment.