Weston-super-Mare beach huts expansion plans scrapped

Beach huts on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare
Image caption Following a complaint, the existing huts were found to be up to 20% bigger than they should be

Plans to build more beach huts at Weston-super-Mare have been abandoned.

Twenty-four huts were placed on the promenade last year but North Somerset Council was originally given permission for more than 100 along the seafront.

Tensions rose over their size and positioning and one family said they experienced "really vile unpleasant behaviour" while using their hut.

The authority said it would be applying for a reduced number.

Retrospective permission is needed as the existing 24 huts were found to be up to 20% bigger than they were given permission for.

Image caption The council had to re-word signs which appeared to suggest the space in front of the huts was solely for occupants use

"The new application will have a reduced number of beach huts (broadly in line with the numbers which are currently on the sea front), which would not have been possible under an amended application," said the council.

Toby Blackburn, who lives nearby, pursued the initial complaint over the application but claimed the council continued to "place its head in the sand" and continue without public feedback.

"It represents a clear acknowledgment by the council that they've had substantial issues with what they've done," he said.

"It doesn't really address the core complaints people have. It's not so much to do with beach huts in principle, but where they positioned those beach huts on the promenade."

Lisa Collinson, from Berkeley in Gloucestershire, bought a year-long lease for a hut but said her family's experience varied from making friends to experiencing "several unpleasant incidents".

She described occasions with people "stomping past, shoving our stuff out of the way, being rude and abusive, telling us we had no right to have private access to the promenade".

"One gentleman knocked my one-year-old over. Just really vile unpleasant behaviour. I was mortified - I don't think I've ever experienced such horrific behaviour," she told BBC Radio Bristol.

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