Lowestoft beach huts to re-open with £2.5m investment
PUBLISHED: 05:38 11 December 2019 | UPDATED: 06:35 11 December 2019
Beach huts in Lowestoft which were closed three years ago due to structural concerns are to be replaced thanks to a £2.5million boost, it has been revealed.
The parade of 50 concrete beach huts in Jubilee Parade were mothballed in the summer of 2016 after health and safety engineers raised fears over the structural integrity of the 1930s buildings.
But budget papers for East Suffolk Council being presented to scrutiny committee members next week revealed it had set aside £2.5m for 2020/21 to replace them.
Kerry Blair, East Suffolk Council's head of operations said: "Since the beach huts were closed in 2016 for safety reasons, the council has been exploring a number of options on how we can redevelop the site to bring the beach huts back into use.
"We are currently working closely with engineers to understand how this can be delivered, and the sum of £2.5million relates to the cost anticipated for both the engineering work and the redevelopment work required to achieve this.
"We hope to be able to come forward with a final plan next year."
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According to reports of the damage at the time, there were "concerns regarding structural integrity" and had been "significant deterioration" in the chalets.
Since then, temporary wooden beach huts have been in place for those who had lease agreements on the huts.
While no firm plans have been submitted, the cash allocation marks a step forward in progress, with further work on plans expected to come forward next year.
It follows work this year on the South Beach public conveniences and changing facilities, which were given a £200,000 boost from the council's capital budget.
Council chiefs have been embarking on a series of programmes aimed at helping the regeneration of Lowestoft.
The First Light Festival was established to help celebrate the town's culture and bring people in, while Historic England is set to sign-off on the delivery plan for the London Road area heritage action zone.
Plans are also in the pipeline to restore the historic frontage of the old Post Office, and the town was announced as one of 100 in the government's Town Deals programme to share a £3.6bn pot.