Littlehampton seafront shelter to make way for kitesurfing centre

THE last “solid” seafront shelter between Littlehampton and Rustington is to be demolished to make way for a kite surfing centre.

Councillors gave planning permission for the scheme in spite of complaints about the loss of the shelter and seats.

Objectors, including Rustington Parish Council, claimed that two new shelters built in the spring as part of Littlehampton’s “longest bench” provided inadequate seating and protection from the wind and rain. They replaced two old shelters.

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Former Littlehampton mayor Mark Butler, a member of Arun District Council’s development control committee, said he shared their concerns, while welcoming the kite surfing centre as “brilliant” and “another positive step for Littlehampton”.

He added: “However, I have a lot of sympathy with some of the objectors speaking of the lack of shelter per se. There is only one, now between Harbour Park and the Rustington Convalescent Home

“Not to detract from the developments along the seafront, but we have actually taken away, now, every bit of solid shelter to protect people from the weather along the seafront.”

Mr Butler called on Arun, Littlehampton Town Council and Rustington Parish Council to provide a shelter for the public, He was particularly concerned about elderly people getting wet.

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Planning officer Dan Vick said there was a covered seating area included in the proposed new building on its northern side, and the overhanging roof would also provide some shelter at the front.

He pointed out that the new centre would be close to a section of the beach and bathing area officially designated by Arun for kite surfing and would be used for training purposes. A shower was also provided inside.

As well as the 13 letters of objection, Arun received six letters of support. The supporters said kite surfing was an up-and-coming sport and Littlehampton was a great location. The centre would help to “grow” the kite surfing community, make it safer and bring people into the town.

The plans were approved, with an amendment stating no signs were permitted.