Concern grows over Budleigh beach huts
CONCERNED Budleigh Salterton residents have voiced their anger over the increasing amount of beach huts which line the seafront.
East Devon District Council has recently allowed an extra 20 to be installed near the beach.
A number of people believe the volume is excessive with one resident, Mo Bowman, of Hayes Close, saying they block off beautiful sea views.
She said: “There have been beach huts along the prom for many years, but never in this number or so closely packed together.
“Instead of sea views, there are now only glimpses, and the air has become hot and sticky, being trapped between the cliffs and the fence of huts.”
Mrs Bowman, when describing a walk along the seafront from Lime Kiln car park, said residents and visitors to the area now had to ‘tunnel their way through to the town.’
On their website, the local authority state they have 49 council-owned beach huts and 94 sites, available between April 1 and September 30.
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Privately owned huts may be erected on the beach sites after April 1 each year and must be removed before October 31. They must also conform to guidelines set out in a schedule of conditions.
Mrs Bowman believed the new huts had been fitted because EDDC wanted to make more revenue. She added: “At �600 per-hut, they are packing them in.
“They do not appear to care about the off putting nature of their actions to visitors – some tourist attraction – and for us locals, it really does feel like a punishment for daring to oppose planning proposals that EDDC supports.”
The additional beach huts is an issue which has upset some councillors at Budleigh Town Council.
Former mayor Courtney Richards said: “It is something else which now spoils the beauty of the seafront.
“It has turned it into almost an enclosed walk area. I did ask EDDC why they could not put them behind the Gentleman’s Club.
“We as a council are hoping they put some in that position next year.”
Mr Richards also expressed concern over the colours of the new huts. “They are not in keeping with the existing ones. They have turned up and are all multi-coloured as opposed to a uniform colour.”
A spokesperson for East Devon District Council said in a bid to satisfy demand and to shorten the waiting list, which had been closed for the past two years, the authority has installed ten extra EDDC huts and provided space for 10 new privately-owned huts.
“We still have a total of 500 people waiting for a hut at Budleigh,” the spokesperson added.
“We do not consider that the 10 council-owned huts have been placed in the wrong location and there are no plans to move them.
“However, we have been having discussions about the 10 additional sites for privately-owned huts and there is a possibility that we might move them to an alternative location. No decision will be made until a site survey is carried out later in the season.”