Residents raise objections to plans for 12 beach huts
STAUNCH opposition has been raised over the proposed construction of 12 huts on Kingsdown beach.
Official objections lodged on the district council website currently total 120, with many more placed on a separate online petition.
Public consultation is underway and objectors argue that development should not be allowed along the stretch of coastline, which is part of both an area of outstanding natural beauty and a site of specific scientific interest.
They also say the huts are ugly and will threaten local wildlife.
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Tingdene Holiday Parks Ltd, who lodged the application, owns the adjacent Kingsdown Holiday Park.
"A lot of people visit that beach and we really care about what happens to it," said Philip Emery, chairman of the Kingsdown Conservation Group.
"Tingdene has obviously bought it as a business investment. But even some of the chalet owners are against it – a lot of them are people who own them because of how much they love the countryside.
"Some of them are appalled with the way Tingdene are trying to exploit the area."
Former writer in residence for White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, Julian Baggini, has also added his name to the expanding online petition.
But Tingdene Ltd insisted 12 huts represented "nothing major".
"First of all, it is a private beach.
And the huts are completely removable," said planning consultant for Tingdene, Valerie Owens. Some objections say that they are being put there just for the benefit of chalet owners, but anyone will be able to use them and we hope that will include locals. All the appropriate impact surveys have been carried out."
Some objectors point to the design of the huts, which are 5.5 metres by 2.7 metres, saying they look more like mobile homes.
Scores of residents have left angry comments on Dover District Council's website.
Ian Williams wrote: "Very large caravan type huts would certainly spoil the look of this lovely wild beach. Any beach huts of any size in this particular area would be inappropriate."
Edward Martin said: "My main objections have already been well documented by many others i.e. site of specific scientific interest, increased litter, visual impact and that Undercliffe Road cannot cope with more traffic.
"But it is also highly unlikely that Tingdene will look after the beach, as they have never done so in the past."
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