Row over beach hut rubble in Beer
PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:48 10 May 2018
A row has broken out over rubble left behind beach huts after cliff maintenance work.
Owners in Beer complain it hinders access to their huts. But East Devon District Council says it won’t clear up the debris.
Nick Driver, whose mother Sheila owns one of the huts, said: “I just want them to clear the mess up which is their responsibility. If it had come down naturally then fair enough but this was because of the work they did.”
They pay £1,060 a year for the beach hut site. Someone from StreetScene visited but took no action.
District Councillor, Geoff Pook, said: “I think it’s a bit of making mountains out of molehills. There’s a bit of rubble there but it isn’t stopping them enjoying the use of their huts. East Devon is managing a budget that is tighter each year and we have to prioritise.”
A spokesman for the Council said: “We don’t use our limited resources clearing cliff fall material from areas where we discourage public access.”
But another beach hut owner, David Abbott, who runs the Colebrooke House guest house with his wife Wendy, said: “It stands to reason if you do some work you pick up the mess you made. You don’t leave it. A good workman picks up all their rubbish.”
The cliff work was carried out before the Easter holidays by a company called Abcas which was awarded the contract for annual inspections last year. They abseil down the side of the cliffs and remove loose material. They operate across cliffs in East Devon’s ownership at Seaton, Beer, Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton. The total budget is between £15,000 and 20,000 a year, £6,000 for Beer.
Mr Abbott added: “I was here when the contractors knocked the rubble down. They say it’s not a path, but it is a path that is used to get to the huts. It was a short cut.”
He also questioned the need for the works in the first place. “There isn’t erosion in Beer like in other parts. If it had been left then I’m sure it would still have been on the cliffs,” he added.