NEARLY 200 people have opposed plans for 15 new beach huts in Shoebury.

A petition signed by 193 residents was submitted to Southend Council by Independent councillor Anne Chalk as the proposals for East Beach were debated.

Mrs Chalk raised concerns that the huts would restrict access to the beach, the north end of which is already used by kite surfers and wind surfers.

She added: “Eight out of ten people I speak to don’t want them because the whole of the beach is used by a much larger population now.

“Every time the council takes a bit off the beach there is less for the public to use.”

The 10ft high huts, designed by architects Pedder and Scampton, would have glazed front doors and walls made of recycled timber pallets behind toughened polycarbonate sheeting.

But councillors raised concerns over whether they could withstand vandalism, after a hole was burned in a nearby bus shelter with a cigarette lighter.

The area is not covered by CCTV.

Southend Council’s development control committee put off a decision on the plan while answers are sought from the developers on a range of issues.

Planning officers will also consider whether ramps should be installed to and from the raised concrete platform at the southern end of the beach, near Rampart Terrace.

The development control committee, which deferred the decision, is expected to consider the application again in the next couple of months.