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Noisy Lobster owner told to seek permission for beach huts

THE owners of the Noisy Lobster restaurant in Mudeford have been told to get planning permission for controversial beach huts which were erected without authorisation.

The retrospective application to BCP Council applies to huts number 63-99 on Avon Beach, some of which were erected in 2014. The new beach huts will replace numbers 23-62.

Objectors to the plans claimed the bigger huts were “ruining” the beach by making the promenade too narrow. They also questioned why the company had previous applications approved.

The Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach, Christchurch (46682968)
The Noisy Lobster at Avon Beach, Christchurch (46682968)

But Noisy Lobster owner Peter Hayward, director of Avon Beach Ltd, hit out at what he called a "small band" of residents "scaremongering" every time the business puts in a planning application.

He said the claims made of noise and nuisance "never materialise", adding: “If it were not for our determination with these applications, the investment we put into Avon Beach would not have been made.

“As a result, the great infrastructure we have created there would not exist.”

He was speaking after BCP Council ordered the company to put in for retrospective planning permission, and an application for other huts it wants to erect.

Both sets of huts are 1.8 metres longer than normal ones. Their square footage is also bigger at 597 square metres instead of 308.

A social media campaign was launched urging BCP Council to reject the applications. But so far there have been 71 letters of support lodged, some from as far away as London and Leicester, compared with 48 objections.

In a statement on the Noisy Lobster’s Facebook page, Mr Hayward said that accusations made against the family-run business “were both widely inaccurate and extremely hurtful”.

He also claimed that “these horrible insults which have been hurled at us will not deter us one bit”.

Mr Hayward said the company believed it had been given approval by the former Christchurch Borough Council to erect the larger beach huts as a result of paying towards repairs to the promenade following the Valentine’s Day storm of 2014.

He said the contribution, together with loss of business as the promenade was repaired, cost the company £100,000.

But BCP Council denied any such agreement, saying the benefits included the reduced risk of flooding to the promenade.

The council said the tenant had been told they needed planning permission for the huts “following an investigation by the council’s planning enforcement officers”.

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