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The first media coverage

More beach huts for Herne Bay

Huts at Tankerton
Huts at Tankerton

A concerned councillor fears vandals could “cause havoc” if 40 new beach huts are built on the Herne Bay coast. Cllr Gillian Reuby of King Edward Avenue voiced her fears after the ball was set rolling on plans to build the “Tankerton-style” huts at East Cliff. Two potential developers want to design, build and manage the huts on land near the old Lookout Tower – an area designated as public open space. The city council’s Executive put the proposal to public consultation on Monday. Cllr Reuby, who has lived in the town for 32 years, said:

“It is a quiet and peaceful area and should be left well alone. I agree there is a need for more beach huts but this isn’t the right place. The huts would be completely out of sight, meaning vandals could cause havoc and no one would see it. Beach huts at the west end of town are always being vandalised so why would it be any different here? It would almost certainly be a case of out of sight, out of mind.”

The Reculver ward councillor also expressed concerns about the number of huts proposed and the lack of parking spaces:

“They say 40 huts could be built but I’ve heard there could be up to 60, which is just utterly ridiculous – even 20 would be too many. They would all need to park at the top of Beacon Hill, which is bad enough as it is. At the weekend it’s almost impossible to find a parking space.”

The East Cliff area was home to concrete and traditional timber beach huts until the 1960s. Cllr Reuby said:

“Things were different back then. There wasn’t the problem of vandalism like there is in this day and age. I think it’s just the council thinking about its capital receipt. They are not thinking about how horrendous the problem with vandalism could be.”

Cllr Reuby’s concerns were not echoed by fellow Conservative and Reculver Ward councillor Gabrielle Davis. She said:

“We can’t let the vandals beat us. There will always be vandalism but we just have to find a way to prevent it. I think beach huts are a splendid idea and make a seaside resort look much more attractive. The English holiday is coming back so what better way to bring people to the town.”

City council property manager David Kemp was also confident the new huts would boost the town’s image:

“This is an opportunity to create an area of focus at East Cliff and to attract more people to this area. It will hopefully also generate additional trade for the eastern end of the town – particularly the King’s Hall tea shop. The provision of beach huts help to make seaside towns more attractive to visitors and residents alike.”

thisiskent.co.uk Friday, October 17, 2008

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