Huts don't detract
PUBLISHED: 07:10 16 May 2014
It's not surprising that someone has brought up the subject of Budleigh's beach huts being allowed to stay up all year around for the first time last year.
As a beach hut owner/tenant myself I was delighted with the news, weighing up at the time the difference in cost between having it taken down, stored and put up again in April and that of the extra fee charged by the council.
The process of removal damages the hut to some extent, although leaving it up to face the winter elements has also some risk, but then we could use it hopefully on Christmas Day?
Sadly we were met with the worst winter for many years – near to gale force winds, rain and more, moving and damaging many huts.
I do seem to remember, though, that there were bigger and worse situations in other parts of the country. I don’t recall anyone being injured because of our beach huts.
Does the photo shown in the Journal of some damaged huts suggest that because of our abnormal winter, permission to keep them up for 12 months a year should not be granted? If so, then perhaps the railway line at Dawlish should not have been replaced because of the same storms?
When last year we were given that permission, it was given on the understanding that we were not allowed to anchor the huts to the ground! Presumably this was because of the temporary structure nature of the huts and against building regulations or something like that?
Just to look at the huts it’s obvious that they can’t be ‘permanent’, so some form of detachable fixing could have been OK and sensible?
It has been commented by some that the huts detract from the views of the sea by walkers. But the huts are very much photographed by locals, visitors and press and feature on most publicity for Budleigh Salterton and East Devon.
There are plenty of uninterrupted views of the sea from the promenade and the beach itself.
The objectors and complainers will be the same as those who objected to the Longboat Cafe improvements last year, no doubt.
I do not believe that the town lost any potential visitors because the huts stayed up. There cannot be any evidence whatsoever to prove that.
If anything there would have been more visitors (relatively) just to view the storms and sadly the damage. The only way the town suffered would have been solely down to the weather.
We now look forward to a great summer ... and a better winter this year.