What is going on with Lowestoft's 'Marmite' beach huts?
- Credit: East Suffolk Council
Work on Lowestoft's controversial new beach huts is due to get under way in September, it has been revealed.
The £2.6 million scheme, which has already seen more than 50 concrete chalets demolished, will move into its next phase over the coming weeks.
Plans for 72 new huts on Jubilee Parade are part of a wider investment programme for the area being led by East Suffolk Council (ESC).
But the two-tier design has split opinion among locals, with one councillor comparing it to Marmite given the 'love it or hate it' response.
The project was, however, officially given the green light by planners in May - by a majority of six votes to three.
And now it has been confirmed that initial work will start once the new school term has begun.
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A spokesman for ESC said: "Work will be starting in September on the installation of the platform and new beach huts, with anticipated completion of the scheme by March of next year.
"The huts are being manufactured by Lowestoft company, PJ Spillings, while the platform and ancillary works are being undertaken by M S Oakes - also from the town.
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"They will be offered for sale on lease and rental, and will include four accessible huts with level access from the lower promenade."
While the artist's impression of the beach huts has sparked widespread debate - both locally and nationally - many have hailed the modern-looking blueprint.
Martin Williams, whose cafe, Sunrise at Zak's, is situated immediately beside the development site, is one of those who is more enthusiastic.
"In all honesty I am really looking forward to them cracking on with the work," said Mr Williams, who has run his seafront business for six years.
"It's just nice to see something different. They are very retro-contemporary - not like your normal beach huts - and I think they look absolutely fantastic.
"From what I gather there is a mix of opinion, but generally speaking I think people are for them. Hopefully this can set Lowestoft apart from other beach resorts."
The 58 original chalets had to be closed in the summer of 2016 due to safety concerns.
Cliff stabilisation work has been ongoing since demolition work was completed.