BOURNEMOUTH council has admitted beach huts will have to be moved to make way for more overnight lodges.

Plans have been announced to increase the number of the bigger, newer huts near Manor Steps between Boscombe and Southbourne.

There are currently 15 of the luxury lodges but an application to increase it to 24 will be submitted to planners in April.

Owners of beach huts currently at the site have voiced concerns that their sea views will be blocked if huts are placed in front of theirs.

When the first 15 lodges were installed, owners suffered six months of blocked views and they fear that this time it could be permanent.

As reported in yesterday's Daily Echo, they fear local people are suffering at the expense of visitors.

Councillors said demand for the award-winning lodges often exceeds supply.

Councillor Pat Oakley, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure said: "I’m delighted that Bournemouth’s innovative beach lodges have been so well received. The lodges have unsurpassed views due to their direct seafront location and appeal to visitors and residents looking to experience a unique seaside escape.

"Income generated from forward-thinking council investments, such as these beach lodges, goes toward maintaining the high standards of our seafront as well as protecting important front-line services valued by residents."

A spokesman said some beach huts in the area would relocate under the scheme, with the council working closely with existing individual tenants to ensure any transition is as easy as possible.

A planning application is due to be submitted in April 2018, and if granted, work will commence Autumn 2018, with lodges available to rent from Easter 2019.