Six temporary food and drink kiosks on Hove seafront, designed to look like beach huts, could stay for three more years after proving popular with customers.
The six huts – three each side of Rockwater restaurant – were put up as a temporary measure while the main building was being refurbished.
They have temporary planning permission to remain until just before Christmas, having opened in June last year as the government started to ease the first national coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Rockwater said: “The huts originally opened in June 2020 to support Rockwater during the covid-19 pandemic.
“The huts became popular in their own right, and have continued to be a destination for visitors. (They) provide convenient and high-quality refreshments and have become a unique visitor attraction in the city.
“The huts make a wholly positive contribution to the area and complement the main Rockwater business by providing a quick and high-quality service.
“They bring benefits to the seafront in terms of the visitor and tourist draw and year-round use. The success of the huts has ensured the area is carefully managed by Rockwater Group Ltd.
“When busy, queuing and traffic light systems are in place to ensure the esplanade stays clear for passers-by. Once an order is placed people are encouraged to wait away from the main esplanade throughfare, until their order is called.”
Rockwater, which is opposite the bottom of Walsingham Road, said that the huts had been constructed to look like the other beach huts which line the promenade.
And, in line with the conditions attached to the temporary planning permission, Rockwater painted the huts to match the existing beach huts on the esplanade.
Rockwater added: “The beach huts were built using the flooring timbers from inside the adjacent building, which became available as a by-product of the refurbishment. As such, they are great example of the principles of circular economy and reuse of materials.
“Following their life on the seafront the buildings can be demounted and taken elsewhere for use. This is part of the ‘zero-to-waste’ culture that is driving all decisions in relation to the day -to-day operations of the business.
“The buildings will not be heated or cooled and therefore have very little energy use other than low-voltage lighting and the machinery of the cash registers and card readers. The buildings are highly sustainable in their use of energy and materials.
“The application site is located at the southern end of the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area fronting the Western Esplanade and beach.
“In addition to the Sackville Gardens Conservation Area, it is in an area where there are other designated and non-designated heritage assets.
“The application is for the temporary retention for three years of buildings that look like beach huts, on an area of the esplanade that is characterised by the presence of other beach huts.
“These simple buildings will have no impact on the appearance or character of the conservation areas and there is no heritage impact from the proposed retention of the buildings.”
Brighton and Hove City Council’s heritage team said that it had no objection to Rockwater retaining the huts for a further three years.
The council is due to decide the application by the end of next month.
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