A BEACH hut owner has acted to salvage their seaside retreat after council chiefs closed off a section of the coast due to health and safety fears.

As reported by the Daily Echo, huts at Hordle Cliffs in Milford-on-Sea were fenced off by New Forest District Council overnight due to erosion issues.

Now one ‘hutter’ has applied to the local authority to move her wooden structure to a different area of the beach.

Katherine Rowland has lodged a proposal to NFDC to relocate beach hut 286 from its current position on land owned by the council to a vacant section owned by the Barker Mill estate, which is still part of Hordle Cliff.

A letter submitted as part of the planning application by Miss Rowland said: “The proposed area is an alcove in the cliff face, on the beach, between beach huts 6 and 7.

“I have been communicating with Mr Simon Barker of the Longdown Estate on the matter since December 2018.

“My hut, if planning was accepted, would have a new number of 6A. The proposed hut location site would not have any impact on the SSSI or nature conservation. This is because it would be sited on the beach 0.8 metres away from the cliff face at the back.”

A response to the application from the council’s coastal protection team raised several issues related to beach huts.

In response to these points, Miss Rowland said: “I am aware that there is always an inherent risk to any beach hut located in this area from inundation by the sea or damage from ground movement.

“I am aware the council will not undertake coastal protection works to protect beach huts.”

Last month, beach hut owners hit out at the council’s actions, primarily a “crass and unsympathetic” town hall letter ordering them to demolish the 20 wooden cabins, which are now at risk of toppling over.

The local authority told the Echo beach hut 286 was inside the fenced off area but not one of structures subject to a termination of licence notice.

On the decision to close off the section of coastline, a council spokesperson said: “Our coastal team have been regularly monitoring the beach and huts following the recent and significant changes that have taken place as a result of the dynamic beach conditions.

“This has been done to enable us to inform beach hut owners of the changing conditions and to ensure the safety of anyone in the area.

“The stability of the huts is now deemed to be a significant risk and, due to the reduction in width of the beach and the unstable ground conditions, we have closed an area of the beach.”