Sunday, April 20, 2014
Budleigh will finally get to have its say on having the town’s beach huts in place all year round – more than a year after the policy was first brought in by district bosses.
East Devon District Council, which rents out the huts and hut sites, initially announced the move from seasonal to year round tenancies in January last year.
The policy came into force for 2013-14, with an associated hike in fees, however there has never been a formal planning application for the huts to be left in place, despite the issue being raised with planning officers by Budleigh councillor Tom Wright last July, and EDDC admitting there was an ‘anomaly’ in September.
Now, however, an application for 155 year-round huts has been submitted.
In the application, EDDC officers state: “In previous years the beach huts have been taken down in winter months and stored before being erected before the following summer season.
“The annual dismantling, transportation and reassembly reduces the lifespan of the huts and in response to demand for longer seasonal use, the council is seeking consent to leave the huts on these 155 sites in place year round.
“It is acknowledged that there is a risk to the beach huts from flooding and severe weather events. While this is to be expected for properties in such a location, the council have processes in place to minimise the risk to both safety and the impact on the area.
“Extreme weather events can happen at any time of the year and at times this has resulted in relatively minor damage to the beach huts. When this has occurred the council has taken steps to ensure that any damaged huts are repaired and that debris is removed from the beach and surrounding areas.”
Officers also say that the year-round huts would not detract from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.
When the plan was initially announced, some hut owners raising concerns about how the huts would cope with winter storms.
These fears appeared to be realised in February, when huts were thrown against one another by storms, although EDDC has since said the damage was not as bad as it first appeared.
Budleigh Salterton Town Council will be consulted on the plan, before EDDC’s development management committee rules on permission.