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We don't want beach huts in Shoebury, say campaigners
8:00am Friday 14th December 2012 in Southend
CAMPAIGNERS have renewed their bid to stop new beach huts being built.
Anne Chalk, an Independent councillor for Shoebury, is spearheading the attempt to block Southend Council’s plans to build up to 16 new huts on Shoebury’s East Beach.
The council claims the facilities are “hugely sought after” among residents and visitors to the town.
But Mrs Chalk said there was no room on the beach to accommodate them and argued neighbours had not been adequately consulted.
She said: “This has just been pushed through, regardless of people’s opinions.
“We must protect the beach for the general community.
“There has been no effort to really find out what the people who live here think about this - it’s just been shoved through.”
The Echo revealed council chiefs were drawing up plans for the new huts earlier this year.
Ms Chalk campaigned at the time to torpedo the plans, but bosses announced last week they had chosen architectural firm Pedder and Scampton to design the facilities.
The authority hopes they will be finished by spring next year. Each hut will have two folding glazed doors, a solid panel for changing behind and two coloured “over panels” to be bolted shut when the huts are not being used.
The huts will be leased to buyers, with the council retaining the freehold.
No prices have yet been announced, although bosses speculated earlier this year they could cost about £25,000 each.
Andrew Moring, the Tory councillor responsible for support services, insisted there had been a public demand for the new huts.
He added: “Beach huts are a very well-loved traditional feature of Southend, and are a wonderful seaside facility.
“There are currently 500 in the borough and we are delighted to be able to introduce these new ones which will blend in beautifully with our existing range.
“They are to be built on a site where beach huts formerly stood, but from where they were removed some years ago.
“They are such hugely sought-after leisure features that we feel sure these new beach huts will prove extremely popular.”
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