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‘Cheap’ Shoebury beach huts slammed by public
9:00am Friday 20th September 2013 in News
NEW beach huts being built in Shoebury, which cost £20,000, have come under fire for their design.
The huts, made from recycled timber from Southend Pier, have sloping roofs similar to the design of the Royal Pavilion on the pier.
Their front doors are painted in bright colours, but they are nothing like much-loved traditional seaside huts.
The roofs are lined with small plants, called sedum, and walls are made of clear plastic, which have then been filled with pebbles and shells.
They have been made out of materials that won’t catch fire, to deter vandals.
Some people have described the designs as “cheap and cheerful”, and say they don’t fit into the surrounding area.
The huts also have no disabled access, meaning wheelchair users would be excluded from using them.
Shoebury councillor Anne Chalk isn’t a fan.
She said: “I don’t like them. I had a petition go around the local people and nearly 200 signed it saying they didn’t want the huts. They’re terrible and just look cheap.”
“They cheapen the whole area. It’s just the council continuing to sell off Shoebury. People round here are just ignored.”
Mrs Chalk said she brought up the issue of there being no disabled access during a planning meeting, when the huts where given the go-ahead.
She added: “I said there wasn’t any disabled access and the architect said they wouldn’t put in ramps, because it would be too costly. That’s just discriminatory.”
Leases will be sold to owners on a seven-year basis through estate agent Haart. A minimum price guide is £20,000.
Mrs Chalk said she’d add wooden panels to the huts to improve their image.
She added: “They’d look more like a typical beach hut then, like the ones in Thorpe Bay – they’re lovely. I’d never pay £20,000 for the lease of one, but I might pay that if it got rid of them!”
Echo readers have also bemoaned the design of the huts including Jim Worsdale who said: “Who on earth designed them, won council approval for them and actually and honestly believes they are fitting for their surroundings?”
Southend Council’s group manager for asset management, Alan Richards, said: “There has been a great deal of public interest in the new beach huts at East Beach.
“The unique design and generous size of the huts has receivedagreat deal of praise and overwhelmingly positive feedback.
“Marketing is progressing well. Interested parties should still contact Haart of Thorpe Bay with regard to future releases.”
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