Changes at The Dip approved – despite residents’ worries over traffic danger
PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 December 2018
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Proposals to put a row of 17 beach huts on land at The Dip in Old Felixstowe to generate more income for Suffolk Coastal council have been approved – despite objections.
Council officials say the site will help with long-term aims to create more than 100 extra hut pitches at the resort.
It could also provides sites for some huts which have had to be removed from the beach and placed temporarily along the prom because of erosion.
The project at The Dip in Cliff Road – approved by Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee – will see the boatpark area on the left hand side of the slipway turned into a beach hut area.
Land on the right – currently an unused stepped-concrete area next to the toilets – will be turned into parking for watersports enthusiasts.
The district council has twice put forward plans for the area in the past but not proceeded with either.
Case officer Liz Beighton said: “Faced with reducing central government support, Suffolk Coastal is under increasing pressure to improve the income it generates to maintain the extent and quality of core services, and has a responsibility to reduce the financial burden of its taxpayers by maximising potential income opportunities.
“As a result the East Suffolk Business plan contains the specific action to ‘Increase the number of beach huts provided in the district by at least 10% by 2019’.
“In practice this means approximately 100 new huts by 2019. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the beach hut service has been undertaken to fully understand how the portfolio operates, to identify any service efficiencies and to consider further income generation opportunities.
“In addition, the council is faced with the need to consider long term options for the relocation of some beach huts from other areas of the seafront of Felixstowe, where changing beach levels dictate that existing huts placed on the sand are no longer a sustainable option. This site may provide one of many options for the relocation of huts.”
Objectors’ main concern is that the extra use of the site could add to illegal parking in Cliff Road and that there could be an accident involving people getting in and out of the illegally parked cars.
However, council officials say this can be dealt with by the civil parking enforcement officers which are expected to be patrolling the town soon.
Ms Beighton said the extra huts “will not generate significant parking pressures in the area”.
She said: “There are two nearby car parks, the closest is 230 metres to the north. Concerns have previously been raised regarding existing parking issues on Cliff Road, particularly the parking of cars on the roadside verge in this area.
“The verge is part of the highway and therefore it is subject to the same parking restrictions as the road and it is not a permitted parking area.
“This stretch of Cliff Road has a daytime parking restriction with a single yellow line between 8am-7pm from May to September. This is a civil parking enforcement matter and not something that the district council presently has control over.
“In the near future, civil parking enforcement will become the district council’s responsibility and the existing issues will be reviewed at that time. However, this is an existing issue which would not be increased by the scale of development proposed.”
Felixstowe Town Council has “strongly welcomed” the beach huts and watersport parking project.