Beach hut campaigner's victory

By Ted JeoryAN indomitable campaigner has won her long fight to save her seafront beach hut from demolition.Maddie Fuller, a mother-of-10, had vowed to battle to the bitter end to stop her treasured beach in Walton on the Naze from being razed to the ground.

By Ted Jeory

AN indomitable campaigner has won her long fight to save her seafront beach hut from demolition.

Maddie Fuller, a mother-of-10, had vowed to battle to the bitter end to stop her treasured beach in Walton on the Naze from being razed to the ground.

The owners of 92 beach huts next to the pier in Walton on the Naze have been told to remove

their huts by Cinque Ports Leisure Company, which owns the land where they are located.

The company told the beach hut owners they were acting on a report that said safety work needed to be carried out on the site.

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But the owners disagreed with the report and organised a petition with more than 2,300 signatures from doctors, actors and tourists from all over the world.

However, most owners gave up hope of securing a stay of execution and relinquished the rights to their property.

But as demolition experts started to burn down the huts, Mrs Fuller, who has 31 grandchildren, sat defiant in her chalet – and even made the workmen cups of tea as they got on with removing the chalets.

Now her British bulldog spirit paid off and Mrs Fuller, from Walton-on-the-Naze, emerged victorious from a meeting with a manager from Cinque Ports Leisure on Saturday.

She said: "We've won. They're going to let me bring the hut back in February or March at the earliest. I'd like to thank the East Anglian Daily Times for your help in all this – your coverage has been brilliant."

During her summer-long campaign, Mrs Fuller received a message of sympathy from the Queen, whose Sandringham estate chalet was burned down by vandals earlier this year.

Mrs Fuller said although she felt her stance had been vindicated, she had mixed feelings over her triumph.

"It's a bit of a sour victory. I feel bad for the others who gave away their rights – it' s really sad to see so many of the huts destroyed," she added

Mrs Fuller will now dismantle her hut, which has been in her family for decades, and put it – complete with her cooker and fridge – in her garden while the seafront repairs are carried out. She then hopes to return the chalet to its former spot before the summer season.

Cinque Ports Leisure, which took over running the pier at the end of last year, was not available for comment last night.

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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