Hordle Cliff’s Beach Huts Worth £500k Reduced to Rubble Amid Rapid Erosion

Hordle Cliff’s Beach Huts Worth £500k Reduced to Rubble Amid Rapid Erosion

In a heart-wrenching scene, £500,000 beach huts at Hordle Cliff, Milford-on-Sea, have succumbed to the relentless force of coastal erosion.

The once-idyllic wooden cabins, perched precariously on the cliff, have collapsed and shattered into pieces, leaving owners distraught.

Rapid Erosion Claims Summer Retreats

Last summer, these 21 beach huts stood proudly along the coastline, offering a picturesque retreat.

In less than 10 months, the rate of erosion has been so alarming that six huts have been entirely destroyed, with fears looming for the fate of the remaining structures.

Council’s ‘Do Nothing’ Policy Sparks Outcry

Business owners, having lost £25,000 each due to the destruction, are pointing fingers at New Forest District Council for adopting a controversial ‘do nothing’ policy at Hordle Cliff.

Accusing the council of abandoning locals to coastal erosion, frustrations rise as owners question the decision not to invest in sea defenses.

Hidden Risks and Uninformed Investments

The beach hut owners express frustration, claiming that the council’s official strategy was not adequately publicized.

Locals and holiday-makers who invested thousands of pounds in these huts were allegedly unaware of the area’s abandonment to erosion. They argue that buyers were simply informed that they purchased the huts at their own risk.

Fury Over Lack of Coastal Protection

The erosion’s rapid pace has closed off the area due to safety concerns, with the set of steps leading down to the huts collapsing.

Hut owners argue that extending the sea wall or placing boulders along the shore could mitigate the risk, but the council’s indifference and lack of funds hinder such efforts.

Council’s Response and Hut Owners’ Plight

New Forest District Council asserts that it has no statutory duty to undertake flood and coastal erosion risk management at Hordle Cliff.

Despite sympathizing with affected hut owners, the council claims their hands are tied due to the lack of defenses in the location.

Recent storms, including Eunice in 2022 and Ciarán in 2023, exacerbated the erosion, prompting a ‘managed realignment’ strategy.

In conclusion, the devastation of £500,000 beach huts at Hordle Cliff highlights the urgent need for strategic coastal protection.

The clash between frustrated hut owners and the council’s ‘do nothing’ approach underscores the challenges of balancing nature’s forces with the preservation of cherished coastal retreats.

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