Victory for campaigners after Portsmouth beach hut plans are suspended

ON HOLD Plans to add more beach huts along Eastney Esplanade have been suspended
ON HOLD Plans to add more beach huts along Eastney Esplanade have been suspended

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PLANS for 100 new beach huts along Portsmouth’s seafront have been put on hold.

Designs have been sent back to the drawing board after they were met with fierce opposition.

Campaigners didn’t want a 13ft wooden wall going up along Eastney Esplanade because they thought it would spoil the picturesque views.

Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson announced the news at a Eastney Neighbourhood Forum meeting.

He said another application would be put in because there’s a five-year waiting list for beach huts – but they would need to be lower in height.

The problem could be solved by lowering the ground and getting rid of some shingle so the huts don’t look so imposing.

They could also be positioned in separate areas rather than in one line.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We are going to redo the plan.

‘There is a five-year waiting list for sun huts but we need them to be lower than the current design.

‘We could probably dig out the beach so they can look lower.

‘The beach has grown in size so we could take a bit of shingle out.

‘We are keen to build them but we want them to be right.’

The council had submitted the application as part of the Seafront Masterplan to regenerate the area.

Cllr Luke Stubbs, of Eastney and Craneswater ward, said: ‘The council was forced to withdraw an almost identical application for this last year.

‘This is the right move. At least the designs will be lower.’

Leon Reis, vice chairman of the East Southsea Neighbourhood Forum, said he was going to invite seafront manager David Evans to talk about the plans at its next meeting on Monday, September 30 at Royal Beach Hotel, which starts at 7pm.

Mr Reis said: ‘The council was going to put a facility there that would make money.

‘But it didn’t take into account what local residents wanted.

‘If the council works with them, then it will come up with something that will suit everyone.’