Asbestos found in Milford on Sea's beach huts

Milford on Sea storm damaged beach huts Huts in Milford on Sea were among hundreds destroyed on the south coast in the St Valentine's Day storm

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Asbestos has been discovered in almost all of the privately owned beach huts at a Hampshire coastal resort.

Of 119 concrete huts in Milford on Sea, 112 have been found to have asbestos sheeting on the bottom of the roof slabs, according to New Forest District Council.

Loose asbestos was exposed when many of the huts were severely damaged during the St Valentine's Day storm.

The authority said it had now been removed by a specialist contractor.

It said the remaining asbestos in the huts, which have been fenced off to the public since the storm, was not dangerous because it has not been disturbed, but was being removed.

Sixteen collapsed

The council said it had carried out a risk assessment and structural survey of the site, which had revealed many of the huts suffered from structural defects.

It added 16 had collapsed as a result of the storm and nine had been confirmed as dangerous, which it now plans to demolish.

The authority said the huts would remain fenced off while further work was carried out and options were considered for the future provision of beach huts.

The authority said it had written to the owners advising them of the situation and had been in ongoing talks with the Beach Hut Owners Association.

Councillor Edward Heron said: "We appreciate people's sentiment for their beach huts and no doubt there will be disappointment in seeing some go, but our main priority at this stage is to ensure public safety."

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