'A very draconian decision' - councillor slams call for ex-soldier to paint beach hut in more 'uniform' colours (From Bournemouth Echo)
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'A very draconian decision' - councillor slams call for ex-soldier to paint beach hut in more 'uniform' colours
A COUNCILLOR has slammed the “draconian” decision to order an ex-soldier to re-paint his beach hut in more ‘uniform’ colours.
John Sandford-Hart bought his traditional beach hut at Friar’s Cliff in Mudeford five years ago, when it featured the same blue and white stripes that it does today. The 47-year-old has recently been contacted by Christchurch Council officers and told he must change the colour scheme by April.
Christchurch councillor Lesley Dedman has voiced her objection to the decision and said she will be taking the issue up with the council.
She said: “I think the beach hut looks very attractive and not out of keeping with the area at all. This seems like a very draconian decision and it is something I will be bringing up with Christchurch Council.”
The former Territorial Army soldier who lost his right leg following a boating accident said he refuses to concede defeat, and will keep the property – which is named Felicity – stripy.
“It’s ridiculous, and I won’t have it,” he said.
“When I bought the beach hut, it was stripy. And now, for some unknown reason, I am being told that stripes are not ‘uniform’.”
The beach hut owners in Mudeford are issued with a handbook which dictates the rules on the size, positioning and decoration of the properties.
Ward councillor Michael Duckworth said the former soldier had “stepped out of line” by painting the beach hut with stripes rather than a single block of colour.
He said: “The beach huts must be decorated to a standard which everyone can comply with. It changes the nature of the area if people step out of line.”
Chairman of the Mudeford Sandbank Beach Hut Association Steve Barratt said: “We have had some success getting the rules relaxed, but I think the council will not relent further.
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