‘Disaster’ claim over huts plans

Alderman Alfred Jealous points to where beach huts used to stand on St Annes seafront.
Alderman Alfred Jealous points to where beach huts used to stand on St Annes seafront.

A VETERAN former councillor claims plans to bring beach huts back to St Annes seafront would prove to be ‘disastrous’.

Alfred Jealous, now an alderman after decades of service with Fylde Council and the previous Lytham St Annes authority, was a prominent councillor when the town’s last beach huts were demolished more than 20 years ago.

“I well remember what trouble they were and to have beach huts back in town would be disastrous,” he said. “As far as I am concerned, no way must this proposal be approved,” said Alderman Jealous.

Applications to site a total of 60 huts on St Annes seafront have been submitted to Fylde Council planners, who are to discuss the matter on a date yet to be decided.

St Annes couple Stuart and Zoe Robertson, who have submitted the plans, claim the huts – proposed for four different sites along the front – will be a major tourist attraction, but their proposals have proved controversial.

The proprietors of the Beach Terrace Cafe have launched a petition against the proposal to site huts at their part of the seafront, while St Annes Town Council has raised concerns over two other proposed sites – close to the miniature golf course and either side of the Pier.

“It’s the most ridiculous proposal I have ever heard and it will be disastrous if these huts are allowed to happen,” said Alderman Jealous.

“I remember the old huts on the north side of the Pier and how they became the target for vandalism and deteriorated so much that we had no choice but to demolish them.

“Because of financial restraints at the time, the demolition had to be carried out in three stages and we were glad to see the back of them. They became a real burden on the council.

“Such huts are not suitable for this town and simply will not be patronised.

“They might work in some parts of the South of England where the weather is rather more clement and consistent but not here in St Annes.”

But Mr Robertson is adamant the huts, which will be made of non-flammable material in a bid to fend off vandalism, will prove a major attraction and bring extra trade to the town. It is hoped building work can start early next year. More information about the proposals is available from info@stannesbeachhuts.co.uk.