New beach huts for popular Pakefield coastal promenade approved
- Credit: Nick Butcher
New beach huts along a popular coastal promenade have been given the go-ahead despite fears from residents that they were being too closely packed together.
A bid for 72 standard 2metre x 2metre beach huts in Pakefield, Lowestoft was approved two years ago.
But Waveney District Council has since sought to alter that plan for 61 larger 3metre x 2metre beach huts, with 42 of them being just 0.5metres apart.
That caused concern among residents, with Anthony Gower, of Black Street, Gisleham saying it would be a 'major blow' to those who use the promenade.
'In reality the width of promenade available to the public will be reduced,' he said.
But the greater concern among those on Waveney District Council's planning committee was about health and safety, particularly if a fire were to break out and spread to neighbouring huts.
Pakefield councillor Sonia Barker said: 'I am against this squashing up of the beach huts on the grounds of fire and safety, as are a number of residents.'
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Planning committee member June Ford also argued it 'could be a disaster waiting to happen', whereas Malcolm Pitcher said the gaps were 'insufficient'.
But the application was approved by seven votes to five, with one abstention, at last night's planning committee meeting after councillor Norman Brooks said: 'I can see no reason to turn it down.
'We're a seaside town and one of our mainstays of employment is tourism.
'Let's get people in – if they want beach huts, then let's give them that.'
Southwold councillor Sue Allen added: 'In Southwold I can't remember ever having seen a fire there.
'People are extremely proud of their beach huts and look after them extremely carefully. I see no problem with it.'
However, the application was approved on the condition the number of beach huts is restricted to 61 and that more detailed plans are provided about the layout and spacing of the beach huts.