Lowestoft: Plans for £2.6m beach huts get go-ahead

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Beach HutsImage source, Chaplin Farrant
Image caption,
The architect said the huts were of "a bold modern form" while others said they were more akin to shipping containers

Controversial new-style beach huts for a town's seafront have been approved.

Some people had previously objected to the designs for Lowestoft in Suffolk saying they resembled shipping containers.

But the £2.6m scheme was approved by six votes to three by East Suffolk Council's planning committee north.

The old brick chalets in Lowestoft were shut in 2016 and 72 huts were proposed as replacements, to be sold or leased.

Image source, JThomas/Geograph
Image caption,
The old huts on Lowestoft's south beach dated back to the 1930s and were taken out of use in 2016

Jerene Irwin, architect and agent on behalf for East Suffolk Council, believed the new design would "positively contribute to the regeneration of the area", said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

She said the new huts would be clad in sustainable materials and were "designed to be reminiscent of, and echo the neighbouring undulating pitched roofs typical of a shore front frontage".

"The proposed design may seem very different in how they look to a traditional beach hut, but they are fundamentally the same," she said.

Tory councillor Norman Brooks, of Wrentham, Wangford and Westleton ward, was in favour and described the huts as "innovative".

He said they would work well for the town and its "ambitious plans to bring the whole of Lowestoft and its town centre up-to-date and into the 21st Century."

But Green councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, of Beccles and Worlingham ward, said: "I saw the pictures and they just look like shipping containers.

"It seems such a shame that the opportunity to put money into the area has to go onto something that's so controversial."

Image source, Chaplin Farrant
Image caption,
One objector said the new huts would "look out of place" on Jubilee Parade

Councillor Peter Byatt, who represents the Kirkley and Pakefield ward where the beach huts would be located, said: "One could say it's almost a Marmite situation. So is it possible to consider a compromise?"

He suggested the lower level huts were built in a traditional design while the upper huts kept the more modern style.

BBC TV's Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr visited Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex for a beach hut makeover challenge - first broadcast in March 2021 and available on the BBC iPlayer.

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