New Seaford beach huts approved

Proposals to erect beach huts on Seaford’s seafront have been given the go ahead by Lewes planners.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 12:25 pm

On Wednesday (March 10), Lewes District Council planners approved an application for the new structures and toilet facilities on an area of seafront opposite Hardwicke House, West View and Sunken Gardens.

The application, which was part retrospective, came from Seaford Town Council, which intends to use the income from the huts to supplement its services. 

While the scheme had been recommended for approval by officers, the proposals had proven to be contentious among a number of local residents. 

Among those to raise concerns, Marie Hart whose statement on behalf of residents living in Hardwicke House was read at the meeting. In it she said: “We have had serious concerns since their installation, of the siting of the commercial beach huts and in particular the toilets of the Esplanade opposite Hardwicke House.

“Not only do they infringe on our views (the bright, unsightly and overly-large sheds) but the three toilet huts sit directly opposite our property. Although they are emptied once a week, I have had residents complaining the toilets are stinking in the summer months when the wind is blowing in our direction.”

She added: “We all want Seaford to thrive and for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the benefits and charm of a Seaford seafront. 

“However we do not believe that the installation of the large buildings and toilets and the overall commercialisation Seaford Town Council seeks has been sensitive given the unspoilt nature of Seaford seafront.”

Ms Hart also raised concerns around the potential for the huts to attract anti-social behaviour to the town’s seafront.

Several others had also raised concerns about the plans. According to planning papers, the council has received a petition of objection signed by 189 people as well as 36 individual letters of objection. 

Some residents had also written in support of the scheme, however, with the council receiving 28 individual letters in favour. 

During debate committee members asked a number of questions about how the huts would be laid out, but were broadly content with the plans. Following further discussions, the application were approved.

However, they put through an additional condition limiting opening hours of the huts from 8am to 10pm. This was in line with what was proposed by the town council, the committee heard.

The application itself sought permission to erect eight beach huts, three portable-style toilets and four concession huts.

The structures are to be temporary, being removed from the site from the end of September to the beginning April each year, with the exception of one of the concession hut, which would be on site all year round.

According to planners, the beach huts would be positioned close to the southern edge of the promenade, overlooking the beach whilst the other huts would be set back adjacent to the low wall flanking the northern side of the promenade. 

The huts would be distributed along an approximately 85 metre section of the promenade.

For further details of the proposals see application reference LW/20/0166 on the Lewes District Council planning website.