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Before and after pictures show destruction of beach huts by high tide

PUBLISHED: 16:56 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 07:37 09 January 2019

Damaged beach huts at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.

Damaged beach huts at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.

Archant

A row of new beach huts were left toppled and flooded by surging spring tides – just days after being “temporarily placed” on the sand.

Before and after photographs capture the destruction of the huts along Pakefield Beach, near Lowestoft, following a high tide on Tuesday, January 8.

At around 10.30am powerful waves crashed into the neat line of colourful huts, uprooting them from their bases and leaving some overturned.

The beach huts on Pakefield Beach before the damage last week. Photo: James Carr.The beach huts on Pakefield Beach before the damage last week. Photo: James Carr.

The Environment Agency had warned of the possibility of “some minor flooding to coastal roads and footpaths” in the Lowestoft area.

However, by 11am much of Lowestoft South Beach and Pakefield Beach were submerged by the rising tide.

The Environment Agency has removed a flood warning for the River Waveney. Picture: James CarrThe Environment Agency has removed a flood warning for the River Waveney. Picture: James Carr

The huts, which are owned by Waveney District Council (WDC), were “temporarily placed” on the beach last week to allow work on the demolition of the existing concrete chalets on the promenade.

A WDC spokesman said: “Although our Operations Team were aware of the Environment Agency tidal forecasts, it was not anticipated that the water would reach some of the huts.

Damed beach huts at Pakefield beach. Photo: James Carr.Damed beach huts at Pakefield beach. Photo: James Carr.

“A crane operator is now on site and once the waters recede, the huts will be returned to the promenade and an assessment will be made, with subsequent repairs made to any damage.

“Planned work on the concrete chalets will be put on hold while this assessment takes place.”

Beach huts were damaged by the spring tides at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.Beach huts were damaged by the spring tides at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.

Terry Watson, secretary of the South Lowestoft Beach Hut Association, was shocked they were even placed in such a location.

He said: “It is surprising given the local knowledge that most people here have that they put them there this early in the season.

Damaged beach huts at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.Damaged beach huts at Pakefield Beach. Photo: James Carr.

“It’s easy to say but it should have been foreseen. We know the high tide comes at this time of year. You know if you put them on there it’s a risk.”

Mr Watson added: “I hope they have insurance.”

Aerial photographs captured with a drone at Pakefield Beach, showing the damage to the beach huts. Pictures: Trevor Fuller PhotographyAerial photographs captured with a drone at Pakefield Beach, showing the damage to the beach huts. Pictures: Trevor Fuller Photography

Peter Barry, from nearby Cefas, added: “It looks pretty disastrous; it’s a pity they didn’t come and ask Cefas.

“There are people in Cefas who would have seen it coming. There is going to be a lot of angry people because they pay a lot of money for those plots.”

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