Agenda item

Beach Hut Progress Report

This report sets out the current progress of the provision of additional beach hut facilities within the Arun District.



The Interim Property, Estates & Facilities Manager provided members with an overview of his update report that explained the progress made by officers to date. He confirmed that it also detailed the budget had been brought forward from the previous financial year. He confirmed that the design of the 3 accessible huts that had been requested by members had now been agreed with the manufacturer. Following this a draft layout of all 13 huts had been drawn up and the next stage of the process was for Officers to prepare and submit a planning application.  He also confirmed that new locations for Beach Huts across the District was under review however, advice from legal was still outstanding to confirm if the new locations would be viable or not. He also provided a further update regarding the Littlehampton scheme whereby it was confirmed that updated cost estimates had been received and these could still be delivered within the original budget agreed. In summing up he provided members with his draft timeline, where he expected that the planning application would be submitted to the Planning Department by end of December 2022, there was a 8-month lead in time to be accounted for with the manufacturer, along with a 3-month manufacture time. It was therefore anticipated that the installation of the Beach Huts would be expected by Summer 2024.


          The Chair thanked the Interim Property, Estates and Facilities Manager for his comprehensive update and then invited questions from members. A summary of questions and points raised is below;


          A query was raised regarding possible severe constraints with one of the new locations under review, given that the huts would be located on shingle, detailed at 3.5.3 in the report. Discussion was had regarding the stability of the shingle in the area, and it was confirmed that due diligence work was still required to be undertaken. 


          In reference to the Littlehampton Beach Huts, it was raised that whilst it was a good start, more accessible huts should be built into future plans, given that only 3 of the Beach Huts would be accessible huts out of the 13 Beach Huts being planned for.


          Further clarification was sought in relation to the additional cost of the accessible Beach Huts and did these costs still come within the original budget agreed. It was confirmed that the original budget did meet the additional costs for the 3 accessible Beach Huts. 


          An in-depth discussion took place regarding the draft timeline and the estimated installation date of Summer 2024, where it was reconfirmed that Planning permission was still required, along with a procurement exercise on top of 8-month lead in time from the point of order with the manufacturer. Members were also reminded by the Chair that it had to be acknowledged and accepted that Officers had been asked to make changes to the original plans that were put in front of members and that these changes were not quick to scope and implement. A suggestion regarding ordering Beach Huts in a larger sum e.g., 50 huts, could this then speed up the process for future plans as well as potentially bring down the overall cost. Additionally specific questions were asked regarding the detail of the exact location of Beach Huts referred to in the report at section 3.4, 3.5.1, 3.5.2 as well as what style of Beach Hut had been chosen for these areas. It was confirmed that it was intended to match the recent composite huts that were already in place.


The Director of Growth highlighted to members that the variation of the comments made during the discussion, confirmed why the process was taking the time that it was. He confirmed that Officers were listening to all the points raised and further detail would be brought back to members at a later date.


          The Vice-Chair and Leader of the Council reminded members that the original planning application that was submitted was refused by the Planning Committee and that this had also had a significant impact on the timeframe for this process.


          The Chair again thanked the Interim Property, Estates and Facilities Manager and his team, of which he acknowledged was understaffed currently for the work undertaken so far and his update at the meeting. He stated to members that this was a good news story and that changes made to include accessible Beach Huts was a move in the right direction for the district.


           The Committee then noted the update.


Supporting documents: