Councillors will decide if Hove beach hut shacks can stay for another six months

Six beach hut shacks by Rockwater on Hove promenade may stay on the seafront for another six months if councillors grant permission.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 7:34 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 7:36 pm
The Rockwater beach shacks will stay open for another six months if the council grants permission

The Rockwater Group’s application for temporary permission for its Shacks by the Shore in Kingsway, Hove goes before Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday, June 9.

Officers recommend councillors grant planning permission for the huts.

In January, the Planning Committee went against officer advice and granted planning permission for a glazed roof extension on the building, previously known as The View, The Venue, Babylon Lounge and West End Café.

Changes to the venue have divided the community as in January, neighbours in Walsingham Road opposed a permanent alcohol licence for the huts.

Maeve Davis, wife of Rockwater owner Luke Davis, launched a petition calling on people to support the shacks, which received more than 17,000 signatures.

The shacks remained shut during the strict lockdown period earlier this year even though Mr Davis secured the alcohol licence.

The latest planning application has 11 letters of objection raising various issues, including the impact on pedestrians on the promenade, visual sprawl, and saying the huts are now surplus to requirements now the main building is open.

An objector, whose details are removed on the city council website, said: “The position of these beach huts, being directly adjacent to the promenade, means that when they are in use, they block the promenade with customers, forming a gridlock and restricting the public right of the way.

“Associated commercial detritus such as beer kegs and bins adversely affect this conservation area.”

Another objector wrote: “The beach huts have caused huge crowding issues on the promenade, making it impossible to walk on the path along the seafront in front of Rockwater.

“When the huts were still in operation, no social distancing was possible."

Brighton and Hove Conservation Advisory Group and the city council heritage officer have not opposed the plans.

A planning and design statement submitted as part of the application by Rockwater’s agents Lewis and Co Planning said: “In heritage terms, the proposal’s building itself is not of heritage value and the proposed improvements to the building will make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area and are an appropriate response to the urban coastal/seafront landscape.

“The improvement of the building and surroundings, its re-opening and proposed uses will be of benefit to the surrounding community.”

The Planning Committee meeting is webcast on the council website from 2pm on Wednesday, June 9.

It will be the first time a Planning Committee has met in person for more than a year due to covid-19 restrictions.

Your Brighton Indy newspaper is back and packed with more politics news, columns, what's on, business news and more. Pick up your copy this Friday from your newsagent for just £1.