"THIS must never happen again."
That was the message from Christchurch councillors as a final report on the Highcliffe beach huts fiasco was discussed.
The project for overnight huts on the cliffs was canned last year after a high profile campaign to halt the controversial scheme with TV production company Plum Pictures.
- Council "acted with secrecy and lack of transparency" over beach huts
- Council leader booed as report into what exactly happened with controversial TV beach hut scheme is delayed to 2017
- Best thing for Highcliffe? Leave it alone, expert tells meeting
- Council leader booed by members of public at meeting over TV beach huts
- It’s official: Controversial TV beach huts scheme is over
- 'Fiasco': Council can't be trusted, say residents after TV company scrap beach hut deal
- Beach huts meeting can't be put off because of rising cost
- Why is council holding beach huts meeting while investigation is ongoing?
- Withdrawing from TV beach huts deal 'not an option that can be considered' says report
- We will be 'open and transparent' say council over TV beach hut probe
- Council leader 'has not read' beach hut contract - and doesn't know cost of withdrawing from TV deal
- Councillors 'did not have technical spec' for Highcliffe beach retreats before approving plans
- Campaigners to challenge council on TV beach huts - as major doubt hangs over project
- MP tells campaigners council IS going ahead with day beach huts - but council says no
- We want out: council now looking for ways to pull plug on controversial TV beach huts
- Here's the design brief those Highcliffe beach huts are being built to
- TV beach huts DO need planning permission, says MP
- Bill Bryson: TV contest for beach 'ill considered' and secrecy 'inexcusable'
- No thanks George, your TV beach huts will ruin our coastline
- Public meeting to be held over George Clarke’s TV beach huts
- TV show wants you to design 12 new overnight beach huts
- Now council says controversial beach huts will be secret until TV show is screened - even after they're built
- TV beach huts can’t go ahead unless Natural England says so
A meeting of the scrutiny and policy review committee heard members vow to never enter into "onerous" confidential contracts again.
They also recommended that any future contracts should be brought before a committee, changing the original recommendation from leader and deputy leader.
Members also criticised the decision to keep the defunct contract secret from members - due to a 'non-reveal' clause.
In the report to the committee, ward councillor Vicki Hallam was criticised for 'misleading' officers over the level of public support for the scheme. She was not mentioned by name in the meeting.
Cllr David Jones said: "There are three areas in which things went wrong.
"And if we are going to learn the lessons then we have got to make sure we understand the areas in which things did go wrong."
He said the culmination of a series of minor things had led to the major loss of public confidence in the council.
He added: "Residents were not properly informed. With a different type of application, it may have been they might have come along (with us).
"The way it was done shut out the possibility."
Chairman of the committee, Colin Jamieson said: "There needs to be a consultation process and strategy that allows us to look at a project and understand what the consequences are."
And Cllr Colin Bungey added: "I think we should learn from this that in any conservation area or area of public open space, there should not be permitted development rights and it should not be dealt with under officer delegated powers.
"It should go to committee."