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Removal of damaged and dangerous beach huts under way at Hordle Cliffs in Milford

WORK to remove dozens of damaged and dangerous beach huts from Milford is under way with parts of the beach shut to allow heavy machinery to operate.

As reported, New Forest District Council is removing 31 beach huts at the eastern section of Hordle Cliff after winter storms saw them condemned as unsafe. It is hoped work will be completed by the end of June if the weather remains favourable.

The affected huts were badly damaged in a series of winter storms including Storm Eunice in February 2022 and Storm Ciaran in November 2023.

(Picture: Chris Mabey)
(Picture: Chris Mabey)

Extraordinarily high levels of rainfall last winter compounded the problems leading to beach erosion and ground movement. This winter has been one of the stormiest of record with February 2024 the wettest for Solent and South Downs since 1891, with the area receiving 300% of the normal rainfall.

As a result NFDC withdrew the licences for these huts in April, with no option for owners to re-site them due to ongoing cliff instability.

NFDC coastal service manager, Steve Cook, said: ”We have actively engaged with hut owners and the New Forest Beach Hut Owners Association, and have every sympathy with those who have experienced impacts at this very challenging coastal area.

(Picture: Chris Mabey)
(Picture: Chris Mabey)

“The removal of the huts is a challenging operation, made more difficult by the limited beach access and tidal working. We hope to complete the works before the end of June and reopen the beach for residents and visitors to enjoy in the summer months.”

“We advise anyone considering buying a beach hut or other asset on, or close to, the coast to consider the risk before purchasing. People are welcome to contact our coastal team to understand the risks.”

Paddy’s Gap car park will remain open, but access to the beach from near the car park will be restricted while the work is undertaken.

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