THERE will be no enforcement action taken against a beach hut owner who refused to repaint his beach hut in more ‘uniform colours’.
The whole fiasco started last week when the Daily Echo reported that former soldier John Sandford-Hart slammed demands from council staff to repaint his immaculately decorated stripey beach hut.
He has said the rules regarding his beach hut at Friars Cliff are ‘bonkers’ and all he has done is refresh the blue and white stripes that have been painted on the beach hut since before he bought it five years ago.
It comes after Judith Plumley, head of community and leisure at Christchurch Borough Council, insisted that all beach hut owners were informed two years ago that stripes were not permitted because “‘contrasting styles could be detrimental to the overall appearance of the beach huts and promenade”.
Now, a week later amidst the public backlash, the council has decided that no action will be taken against Mr Sandford-Hart.
She said: “I can confirm that the council will take no enforcement action against beach hut owners at Friars Cliff who have not yet repainted their huts in accordance with the requirements of the licence, pending a review of the policy.”
Christchurch councillor Lesley Dedman stepped into the dispute earlier this week and criticised ‘draconian’ decision by the council.
She said: “I got involved because I thought the council was being very strict about a beach hut that looks very elegant and well kept.
“I understand there have to be rules but what we need to work towards now is getting these rules changed.”
Following the decision, former soldier and amputee Mr Sandford-Hart said: “Since this was publicised I have been inundated with people coming to my beach hut to tell me how ridiculous the council has been and are angry that this is a waste of time and money.
“I work hard to make the hut look good and I’ve never had anything but compliments. I will never change it and would rather go to court then back down on this and change it.”
A meeting to discuss the beach hut policy for Mudeford will take place soon.