Budleigh shelter secured after long-term lease signed

PUBLISHED: 06:30 13 November 2017

The Budleigh Salterton beach-front shelter, which the town council signed the lease for after a six-year saga. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

The Budleigh Salterton beach-front shelter, which the town council signed the lease for after a six-year saga. Picture: Daniel Wilkins

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A six-year crusade to secure the beach-front shelter in Budleigh Salterton looks to have been completed after the town council signed a 125-year lease.

The six-year crusade to save a ‘much-loved’ Budleigh Salterton sea front shelter looks to have been completed.

Budleigh Salterton Town Council has been fighting for six years to block development of the ‘Jubilee Shelter’ after planning applications for the adjacent Longboat Café threatened its future.

Negotiations have been ongoing since 2011 for the lease of the site from East Devon District Council (EDDC).

At a meeting, town mayor councillor Alan Dent confirmed that the 125-year lease agreement with EDDC had been signed by the town council.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “it will mean we are responsible for the shelter and responsible for its maintenance.

“It also means while we are in control there is no chance someone will knock it down – it is protected as a shelter for the public for the foreseeable future.”

The town council’s crusade to save the shelter began in 2011 after a resident gifted £1,000 to fund its restoration.

At the time it was anticipated the building, built in 1974 by Budleigh Salterton Urban District Council, would be adopted by the town.

The town council pledged to spend £1,500 on maintenance plus arranging a long-term lease to preserve the beach shelter for future generations.

Earlier this year, it was suggested that the council coul abandon their bid to take on the shelter, after being pressed for £850 in extra legal fees on top of the £9,000 already paid over the six-year saga.

Councillor Courtney Richards, who spearheaded the bid to safeguard the shelter, said: “At last, Budleigh can take full ownership of the shelter - It’s a bit of a shame it’s taken such a long time to get here.

“It’s an amenity well-used by residents and visitors alike and it would have been very sad to see it disappear.”

Cllr Dent, who is also a district councillor for the Budleigh Salterton ward, added: ““East Devon District Council is delighted that Budleigh Town Council has now signed the lease for this beach front shelter and will continue to care for what is a very valued and much enjoyed asset to the town.”

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