CAMPAIGNERS are fighting plans to demolish their privately-owned beach huts and make them foot the bill for the replacements.
Civic chiefs have sparked fury by drawing up proposals to bulldoze scores of huts that bore the full force of the storms that devastated parts of the New Forest district on St Valentine’s Day.
The 118 terraced huts at Milford on Sea were hit by 80mph winds.
About 30 were demolished in the aftermath of the storm, and New Forest District Council claims the rest will have to be bulldozed in the interests of public safety.
All the huts are due to be replaced – but the council says the owners must meet the cost.
The plan has angered families, who face the prospect of either losing their seafront plots or paying out thousands of pounds for new buildings.
Owners say many of the huts suffered only slight damage and should be repaired rather than demolished.
They have already launched a petition and are also threatening to take legal action against the council in a bid to save their properties.
Some of the campaigners lobbied a meeting of the council’s ruling Cabinet on Wednesday.
Yvette Frost, who paid £20,000 for her beach hut, told members: “Imagine if the roof blew off your home and the council argued that you shouldn’t be allowed to repair it.”
Councillors defended the scheme, saying the authority had a duty to ensure the safety of everyone who visited the seafront.
But the Cabinet agreed to commission a new structural survey that would examine the condition of each individual hut.