Worthing residents 'mortified' by plans for more beach huts on seafront

Residents of Clarence Court are not happy about the plans. Picture: Derek Martin
Residents of Clarence Court are not happy about the plans. Picture: Derek Martin

Residents who live opposite a space earmarked for 32 beach huts are ‘mortified’ by the prospect.

Worthing Borough Council has submitted a planning application for the huts between Esplanade Court and Clarence Court along East Worthing seafront to ease the seven-year waiting list.

Frieda and Mark Goulding. Picture: Derek Martin

Frieda and Mark Goulding. Picture: Derek Martin

But an angry group of homeowners, spearheaded by Frieda Goulding, has opposed the plans.

The 69-year-old said: “Why would you want to have beach huts there? Worthing will start being called Shed City, because we will lose what Worthing is all about: the open spaces. People come from all over and they love it, and the council will just ruin it.”

The residents’ concerns included fears that the huts could get flooded, the beach may be strewn with discarded barbeques and calor gas bottles in the summer.

Safety fears also featured on their list, as Frieda believed the huts could become a beacon for ‘drug takers and homeless people’, posing a risk to residents.

The group is taking a stand against the plans. Picture: Derek Martin

The group is taking a stand against the plans. Picture: Derek Martin

She felt the huts would be too close to their homes, posing an invasion of their privacy too.

But top of the list were safety concerns for children.

Frieda said they feared that if children at the beach huts wandered into the cycle path, they could be hit by cyclists.

Letters were sent out by the council, asking for residents to comment on the proposal, quoting reference number AWDM/0553/19, by the end of April.

But Frieda said: “The letter said it will enhance Worthing, but it won’t whatsoever. People are mortified.”

She felt the stretch of beach opposite Brooklands Park was more suitable for beach huts.

In a planning statement, the council said: “As of September, 2018, there are 676 people on the list to rent a council-owned beach hut. This represents a 90 per cent increase since March, 2015, when there were 377 on the list.

“The average waiting time for those on the list to obtain a hut is 7.5 years, from application to being offered a council-owned beach hut to rent.”

The statement said the location had previously had the structures in place but they were destroyed in the Great Storm of 1987.

Eight new beach huts have also been earmarked opposite Marine Crescent in Goring seafront.