Petition opposing North East Lincolnshire Council’s proposed disposal of the Fitties
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Humberston Fitties is one of the few surviving ‘plotland’ developments in the country. Historically, locals have been drawn to the coastal sand dunes of the saltmarsh area known as ‘the Fitties’ since the First World War. As the years progressed the seasonal tents become a random assortment of beach huts, converted buses, railway carriages and bungalows. During the Second World War the site was used by the military to protect our sea defences. Once peace was regained the holiday makers returned and thus started a new era as holiday homes become more permanent structures reflecting a unique look. Water standpipes were installed and families became a community with collective responsibility for cooking, chores and enjoying the beach.
Today Humberston Fitties serves a wide range of stakeholders that come to the area to enjoy the natural landscape and the historic chalets.
The land is owned and managed by the local council, however, they now seek to dispose of the management of the area and as such have put the header-lease of Humberston Fitties Chalet Park onto the commercial market for a buyer to take over the header-lease.
Through submitting to the council our own community bid The Fitties Community Interest Company propose to oversee the management and running of Humberston Fitties within the remit of their vision to preserve, conserve, enable and promote the historical uniqueness and heritage of Humberston Fitties through managing change for the 21st Century to benefit residents, local community and the wider community . The Directors and Steering Group have set out a Business Plan to take on the site as a community concern.
The Fitties C.I.C. Business plans outlines the plans we have to improve and update the sites infrastructure that includes:
· Management and improvement of paths and access to the site
· Improvement of roads and access roads to chalets
· Replacement of water system to the site
· Liaising with planning department as to the future of replacement chalets
· Development of an updates flood management system in liaison with other agencies
The income from the management of the park will support these plans. In addition as a Community Interest Company we will be actively seeking funding to support and develop our Community Activity.
Our social outcomes will continue to seek the views of community on how the site is best used from a local and tourism viewpoint. This will include promoting the heritage of the site through events and activity that link with The Fitties unique past. Plans include developing a Heritage Trail, promoting nature walks, developing a Dark Sky site, information and talks for stargazers.
Through running the company as a not for profit organisation any profit from the everyday management of running a chalet park will go back into developing community activity that links to place, others and environment. This in addition to the eligibility a CIC has for funding opportunities makes us a financially viable choice for local residents, community and the local council.
However the Cabinet of N.E.Lincs council do not value our bid and would prefer that a Commercial Holiday Park Company takes over the header-lease. The decision will go to a full Council meeting on the 8th February. We are asking councillors to :
- vote against the 'preferred bid ' of a corporate holiday park company
- recommend a vote by full council that The Fitties C.I.C. is sold the header-lease for The Humberstone Fitties Chalet Park
The threat of a corporate company taking over the management of this area could see car parks and access closed to the general public and chalets demolished to make way for a more economic versions of holiday homes that would bring in a greater income for that company.
If this site is managed sympathetically to its heritage and the natural environment, with a view to community use, the potential to provide a different aspect to the traditional seaside holiday is vast. To provide and promote a quiet but beautiful site that reflects its heritage in contrast to the slot machines, helter skelters and donkeys of traditional Cleethorpes can surely be a huge asset to the future tourism agenda of N.E.Lincs Council.
For local business and the tourism in Cleethorpes the site is currently a bonus. Holidaymakers and owners all benefit from the local businesses and services provided in the local area such as shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Local community users will follow up their walk on the beach with visiting Cleethorpes for refreshments and loos, (there aren’t any public facilities available on the Fitties site). For many commercial holiday parks there aim is to keep visitors onsite and spending their money in their own bars, shops and holiday complex. If we are successful in our bid we will support local businesses through promoting their services to our holidaymakers.
Please sign our petition in support of the following statement:
Petition opposing North East Lincolnshire Council’s proposed disposal of the Fitties.
We the undersigned are asking the Council not to dispose of Humberston Fitties Chalet Park to a private company. It is a unique Conservation Area enjoyed by locals and visitors. A private company will only be interested in personal profit not the historic and social value of the amenity to the Borough.
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