BEACH hut owners at Christchurch ordered to redecorate their huts will not face enforcement action to rectify the eye-catching colour scheme.

Councillors at Christchurch met on Wednesday to discuss the beach hut colour scheme following a row over how huts should be painted.

In December, the Daily Echo reported that former soldier John Sandford-Hart had slammed demands from council staff to repaint his stripy beach hut at Friars Cliff.

He described the rules as “bonkers”.

Another hut owner, Gordon Espley, who has painted boats on his beach hut, said he felt like owners were “coming up against a brick wall” if they wanted to express any kind of individuality.

The criticism led to a meeting of councillors and staff, where a recommendation was made that beach huts should be painted one colour only.

On Wednesday, the council’s community services committee were recommended not to make any changes to the current beach hut licence requirements.

However, members decided not to change the current policy but allow those people whose beach huts currently contravened the policy before February 1, 2014, to let them remain this way until they sell or redecorate.

If the hut was sold or the current owner redecorated, then the colour scheme will have to abide by the guidelines, councillors agreed.

Cllr Nick Geary proposed the recommendation with the amendment, which was seconded by Cllr David Jones.

Cllr Jones said: “In one sense I am very uneasy with the state in any form saying “this is what you must do”.

“I think it is appropriate to allow as much latitude as we can.

“If you have got someone whose hut is reasonably decorated I think it’s not unreasonable to say you can leave it as it is but since you have got a new owner or when you redecorate then that is different.

“I think it will meet a number of the concerns.”