Remove or Relocate the Weston-super-Mare Beach Huts
This petition had 237 supporters
Weston's new beach huts have been placed centrally on the beach-front promenade and are fundamentally flawed because:
- The huts are in breach of permission - the installed huts are 20% larger than those for which the permission was granted. For this project that's equivalent to adding almost another 20 huts.
- The position of the huts is in breach of permission - the installed huts were supposed to allow at least 7m to the rear of the hut. Only 6.2m is available.
- They obstruct views of the sea from the promenade road (Marine Parade) - on cold/wet days, many visitors come and park on this road to sit and look at the view from their vehicles. This is no longer possible as they can now only see the back of a row of beach huts. Moreover, most vehicles approach the beach from this end, meaning their first view of Weston's bay is now a row of sheds, rather than the sweeping expanse of sea. Given one aim of the project was to increase tourism, as per local policy, this seems counter-productive
- They obstruct views of the sea from the majority of the width of the promenade - the views are now only visible from in front of the beach huts themselves, or in between them, which negates the panoramic experience of a promenade
- They limit access to the front of the promenade, by allowing approximately a two metre gap which now needs to be shared between hut users, and pedestrians. Pedestrians want to use this space to see the view, and paying beach hut users expect to be able to use this space to sit out in front of their hut. This creates a feeling of guilt about either using the space and ultimately leads to conflict over rights of use when one decides they have a priority
- They halve the available width of the promenade which is allocated for mixed use i.e. pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters, scooters, skateboards etc... which they must also share with the land train that operates along the promenade. This allows very limited safe space around the operating land train, and also doubles promenade traffic density in this area. For people with young children this is of particular concern as they are more likely to be involved in a collision with something, or indeed the land train. Children are also likely to scoot/cycle between the gaps significantly increasing the chances of them colliding with something such as the land train as there is insufficient visibility when coming from in between the huts - in highway terms this level of visibility would not be considered acceptable
- New signs which suggest the space in front of the huts is "reserved" for beach hut owners now means many bemused promenade users can be observed walking behind the huts irrespective of whether the huts are in use. Given that one justification for the permission was to rejuvenate the southern end of the promenade, this now seems to be actively discouraging use of the promenade at this end
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