Chalets with a sea view planned for Gorleston

CANDY-coloured beach huts could once again take their place along Gorleston’s scenic lower prom - adding to the spirit of nostalgia epitomised by sand castles and boats bobbing on the yacht pond.

Three years ago the last row of huts was demolished by the council, upsetting trippers some of whom had been hiring the same one for 20 years, and sweeping away a popular facility.

Now businessman Curt Johnson, who used to let the 21 units, is hoping to bring back them back - chiming with the consumer driven appeal for all things vintage.

He has lodged an application for five pitched-roof beach huts on the same spot possibly building up to what was there before over the next few years.

Mr Johnson, who operates the children’s trampolines and giant inflatable, said he was certain there was a market for the huts, some of his former customers begging him for replacements to make their seaside holiday complete.

The aim he said was to hire them out for the day, week or season, taking them away in the winter months.

He said: “We had people who had been in there for 20 years, renting the same chalet with their families.

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“When the council decided they were unsafe and we had to take the keys back some of them were in tears, it was as if we were taking away their house.

“We had three or four seasons of not being able to operate them during which time no maintenance was done, then they were knocked down.

“I know we have a market for them because we have been crazed by a lot of the people who had them before. We were hoping to get them in position for the summer but it may not happen this year.

“When people have got a beach hut they tend to be there everyday whatever the weather. They certainly make use of them.”

The timber huts will be 10m by 3m and stand 2/3m from the seawall edge with a door and a window facing out to sea.

Senior planning officer Dean Minns said no-one would be allowed to stay in them overnight. Initially there will be no mains electricity.

Margaret Ward, a campaigning voice for Gorleston, said the new huts could be a nice addition for holiday makers adding she would be sorry if they became privately owned and changed hands for high prices like those in upmarket Southwold, one battered example going on the market for �60,000 last summer.