New row of beach huts planned due to cliff erosion

Beach huts in Scratby Norfolk

Beach hut owners in Scratby who have paid £7,500 and £10,000 for their beach huts and pay annual ground fees of £150 say they feel reassured under the parish council's plans to move them away from the cliff edge. - Credit: Liz Coates

A parish council is bidding to site up to ten beach huts on a scenic clifftop which boasts panoramic views out to sea.

Some six huts are haphazardly perched at Rottenstone Lane in Scratby just feet from the cliff edge - the remains of 20 which once sat in two neat rows.

Beach huts at Scratby Norfolk

Two of the six remaining beach huts in Scratby. The parish council wants to regularise them and make more of a feature of The Green. - Credit: Liz Coates

To protect them from erosion and make the best use of the popular wave-watching spot, the parish council wants to move the huts back and add up to four more - while also sprucing up the area.

The plans had worried beach hut owners who feared losing their "safe haven" which for one family was "a place where we can all feel happy in the world".

Carol Kelly and Sharon Dutton enjoying their beach huts at the clifftop at Scratby. Since lockdown e

Carol Kelly and Sharon Dutton enjoying their beach huts at the clifftop at Scratby. Both spoke passionately about how much their seaside cabins meant to them. - Credit: Archant

Speaking at Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council meeting on Monday Carol Kelly of The Esplanade begged members to consider the huts as "much more than sheds" and a key factor in her family's well-being.

The meeting also heard from Sharon Dutton the owner of Mr Blue Sky who had invested £10,000 in her beach hut just over three years ago. 

Beach huts in Scratby Norfolk

Beach huts near the cliff edge are being moved back under proposals being put forward by Ormesby with Scratby Parish Council. - Credit: Liz Coates

Chairman Andy Grant said the space included "a wonky fence", "dodgy privet" and some beach huts that had been "plonked".

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Members discussed how they would regularise the huts and if those that had been well maintained could stay.

Beach huts in Scratby Norfolk

Family Tides is a happy and safe place for building new memories for Carol Kelly and her family. - Credit: Liz Coates

Kathryn Wendt said: "I am very much for the people who have looked after their huts and love being there but we need to develop a criteria for the type of beach huts that we want.

"We cannot differentiate and say the people that look after their huts can have one but not the other people."

Phil Nathan said: "The most important thing for us is that we move them as far away as possible from the cliffs."

The beach hut plans were supported by Peter Holley who said: "Everyone in Britain wants one."

Beach huts in Scratby, Norfolk

Although Scratby Cliffs are stable there is a proposal to move the beach huts back and the handrail. - Credit: Liz Coates

Beach huts in Scratby Norfolk

A proposal to protect the area from erosion and move beach huts back has been put forward in Scratby. - Credit: Liz Coates

The council resolved to seek planning permission for up to ten huts and to tackle the owners they believed were in breach of tenancy.

Two could be moved back, they said, and two others would be offered first refusal on any new ones.

They also resolved to move the raised bund, box flower beds, and to replace hedging. Although some huts have electricity the new ones would not, they said.

After the meeting Mrs Kelly said she felt reassured and that the owners had been listened to.

Beach huts at Scratby, Norfolk

Beach hut owners in Scratby enjoy impressive clifftop views of the wide, sandy beach. - Credit: Liz Coates

Families enjoy the sands at Scratby during lockdown. More people have been able to easily access the

Scratby beach on a sunny summer's day. Beach hut owners enjoy the view whatever the weather. - Credit: Archant