Beach huts forced from Felixstowe after seaside washed away by storms
- Credit: Archant
Felixstowe beach hut owners have been told they will not be able to stay in their normal place this summer after winter storms caused serious erosion.
Much of the beach at Felixstowe was washed away during the succession of storms – and now hut owners have received letters from Suffolk Coastal council warning they will not be able to be placed on the beach during the summer.
At present they are stored on the promenade, but they will have to be removed before the main summer season starts.
Beach hut owners have been given the choice of having them moved to an alternative site by the council – or finding somewhere to store them this year.
The letter, from council head of operations Kerry Blair, says: “I would stress, we are faced with an exceptional set of circumstances which have been forced upon us by the extreme bad weather.
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“This has forced us to take emergency measures to accommodate everyone during the 2018 tourist season.” He adds that there will be no site fee for 2018/19.
A spokesman for the council said the weather had been quite exceptional – forcing them to make the decision on the beach huts.
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But officials were hopeful that the beach would be fine for families who wanted to enjoy a seaside trip to Felixstowe during the summer.
Beach hut owner John Carpenter said: “We have been aware of the problems caused by erosion over the winter, and the weather has been very bad.
“We’ve had a beach hut since 2005 and we’ve never known a time when they were kept off the beach for the whole season.
“I think about 60 beach huts are affected from the pier, around the Spa Pavilion up towards the Fludyers pub – although some up there are on a bit of a platform.”
He accepted there had been bad weather – but there were concerns that other issues may have played a part.
“Some of us wonder whether dredging out at sea might have affected the beach – and there are also concerns that austerity cuts may mean that councils are not able to spend so much on protecting beaches.
However the council spokesman dismissed these concerns – and said the loss of beach material was simply down to the exceptionally bad weather over the winter.