Local authorities have a statutory duty to obtain the public’s views on any significant development. The increase in the number of beach huts in Worthing is such a case.
Mr Fuhrmann’s letter in last week’s Herald expressed his views very clearly: “walking by and looking out to sea with an unrestricted view is one of Worthing’s modest pleasures and assets”; the beach huts, which he thought ugly, were “little-used but were permanent eye-sores which spoilt the experience”.
Mr Fuhrmann lives in Tennyson Road, some distance from Marine Drive. He would, however, no doubt hold these views equally and perhaps especially for the huts proposed there.
Many other residents who live some distance away from Marine Drive, regularly enjoy the experience Mr Furhmann described and might also share his views.
But local councils invariably only bring into their consultation residents immediately adjacent to a development. This ignores and leaves unconsulted vast sections of the public not immediately adjacent who may be equally concerned. This is happening with the Marine Drive huts. Councils should not just go through the motions of “consultation” but really find out what all their residents think.
This applies equally to the county council.
How many taxpayers were consulted about the replacement of lamp posts throughout West Sussex which is costing a near fortune?